Booking next fights for Vicente Luque and Other UFC Vegas 78 Main Card Winners

After another evening of Octagon violence at the UFC’s Apex on Saturday night, let’s look at what could lie ahead for Vicente Luque and the other five main card winners from UFC Vegas 78.

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Vicente Luque vs. Nicolas Dalby

Vicente Luque and Rafael Dos Anjos were about as evenly matched as expected. Both men traded power shots, gave each other fits on the floor, and pushed one another to the limit. However, the size disparity put the former lightweight champion at a clear disadvantage as the fight continued. 

Vicente Luque’s decision victory keeps him from completely falling out of title contention, however, he’s still 1-2 in his last three and needs another opportunity to prove he still has something to offer the upper echelon of welterweight. That’s why “The Silent Assassin” should face Nicolas Dalby next.

For the past year, Dalby has made his push toward the rankings and needs a marquee name to get there. Meanwhile, if Luque can shut down that momentum, he reestablishes how much of a threat he is to everyone else at 170.

Cub Swanson vs. Edson Barboza/Sodiq Yusuff winner

Hakeem Dawodu was given all he could handle against Cub Swanson. Swanson’s unorthodox freestyle approach made fireworks with Dawodu’s precise textbook approach. While the younger fighter gave out more damage and controlled larger stretches of the bout, the judges saw it for the 39-year-old.

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Swanson’s win, however controversial it was, should set him up for another fan-friendly matchup at featherweight and the winner of Edson Barboza and Sodiq Yusuff seems appropriate.

Either man wins and Swanson has another action fight on paper and will either meet a weathered veteran or have the chance to faceoff with another rising prospect. Barboza and Yusuff will meet at the Apex Center in October.

Khalil Rountree vs. Nikita Krylov

Khalil Rountree left nothing to the imagination against Chris Daukaus. Even though Daukaus was coming down from heavyweight and was noticeably bigger, the former Philadelphia police officer couldn’t survive the crushing power of Rountree.

With four wins in a row, it’s time for Rountree to stand in front of someone in the top 10. Let’s see what he can do with Nikita Krylov in a five-round main event. Krylov is on a three-fight winning streak and submitted Ryan Spann in March.

Iasmin Lucindo vs. Lupita Godinez

After a lot of forward motion and combinations from Polyana Viana, Iasmin Lucindo found her rhythm in the second round. Counter punching and well-timed takedown served as the answer for Viana’s aggression before the youngest woman on the UFC roster was able to secure the arm triangle. 

Lucindo’s power and abilities on the ground deserve another opportunity to shine. A match-up with Lupita Godinez can serve that purpose. Godinez can’t resist standing and trading but is well accomplished on the mat and has expressed a desire to lean on that base more. Godinez was last seen submitting Emily Ducote in May. 

AJ Dobson vs. Makhmud Muradov

vicente luque, ufc vegas 78
Credit: Craig Kidwell-USA TODAY Sports

The bout between AJ Dobson and Tafon Nchukwi certainly felt like a “loser leaves town match” when it was put together. Fortunately for Dobson, he was able to snap his two-fight skid and earn his first official UFC victory. He was able to use more precise striking and opportunistic grappling to shut down Nchukwi’s return to middleweight in a unanimous decision win.

Dobson still has a lot to prove before he can be considered a true contender.  A fight with Makhmud Muradov makes sense next. Muradov ended his own two-fight losing streak with a decision over Bryan Barbarena in July.

Josh Fremd vs. Eryk Anders

vicente luque, ufc vegas 78
Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

It was far from entertaining but Josh Fremd managed to get the decision win after a grueling 15 minutes. The improved wrestling of Jamie Pickett and Fremd’s cardio after a three-pound weight miss worked against him but he had enough in the tank to capitalize on mistakes to secure the victory. 

Let’s put Fremd against the opposing style of another middleweight with a mixed record as of late. Eryk Anders checks those boxes. Anders most recently dropped a decision to Marc-André Barriault at UFC 289.

Ant Walker is a native of the Washington DC area that now lives in Los Angeles. He has been... More about Anthony Walker

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