The UFC's first trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma in 20 years culminated with a variety of impressive performances and several staggering upsets to boot. It was a card with no shortage of stoppages and violent finishes and set several of the winners on a path up the rankings that few would have imagined beforehand.
Here are the fights to make following UFC Fight Night Tulsa:
Although Rafael dos Anjos undoubtedly picked up the biggest win of his UFC career on Saturday night when he knocked out Benson Henderson in the opening round of their main event, he is still placed in a precarious position in the rankings and is faced with very little in terms of alternatives.
Considering lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is still scheduled to face Gilbert Melendez at the end of the year and recent signee Eddie Alvarez and Donald Cerrone claimed the No. 1 contender spotlight, it is slim pickings for dos Anjos over the next few months. Potential match-ups with T.J. Grant or Khabib Nurmagomedov are not achievable since they are both on the sidelines, so that leaves dos Anjos with Bobby Green if he is interested in that fight.
Lethbridge-native Jordan Mein picked up a vicious KO win on Saturday night to dispatch Mike Pyle in exactly 72 seconds of cage time. It was an impressive performance from the youngster, who moves to 3-1 under the UFC banner, with the one loss to Matt Brown. This was also his first TKO victory since March, 2013.
While there are a variety of interesting potential match-up for Mein, I would personally like to see his original opponent, Brandon Thatch, rebooked against the Canadian. Guaranteed violence.
Thales Leites vs. C.B. Dolloway
Thales Leites picked up his biggest win in years when he knocked out Francis Carmont just 20 seconds into the second round of their feature fight on the Tulsa card. He is now on a seven-fight winning streak, four of which took place inside the octagon. He holds wins over Tom Watson, Ed Herman, Trevor Smith and Carmont since returning to the UFC and has certainly earned a significant step up in competition for his next fight. A match-up against C.B Dolloway would make perfect sense for both competitors.
Max Holloway secured an impressive third round TKO victory over late replacement Clay Collard. It was an entertaining scrap that allowed Holloway to display his developing striking game before eventually closing out the fight in dominant fashion. Holloway is now on a three-fight winning streak since losing to Conor McGregor last year and will be looking to add to that as he continues his rise up the featherweight ranks. Put him in a match-up with Dennis Siver and let's see how he handles that obstacle.
James Vick vs. Rashid Magomedov
James Vick extended his undefeated streak to 6-0 after he defeated Valmir Lazaro via unanimous decision on the main card portion of the Tulsa fight card. He is now 2-0 in the UFC but is yet to display any extraordinary skills that would deem him a candidate for the upper echelon of the lightweight division. Based of his most recent contest, Vick will need a significant amount of polishing in his striking game so a match-up against Rashid Magomedov, who is also 2-0 in the UFC, would be an interesting challenge for both.
Featherweights Chas Skelly and Tom Niinimaki put on an entertaining show for the four minutes they lasted in the octagon before Skelley locked in the rear-naked choke. It was an impressive finish after several failed submission attempts beforehand. Following Skelly's decision loss to Mirsad Bektic in his UFC debut, he has now found his way in the win column and will hope to maintain his place on that side of the fence.
A match-up against Jim Alers would be interesting.