UFC Charlotte went down yesterday (Sat., May 13, 2023) featuring a Heavyweight brawl which saw Jailton Almeida dominate Jairzinho Rozenstruik en route to earning a first-round submission win (see it here). In further action, Ian Garry continued his ascension with an impressive first-round technical knockout (TKO) win over Daniel Rodriguez, while Johnny Walker earned a dominate unanimous decision win over Anthony Smith.
Winner: Jailton Almeida
Who He Should Face Next: Tai Tuivasa
Almeida called for a showdown against Tuivasa next, so who am I to argue? Tuivasa is currently ranked No. 6 while Almeida will likely be sneaking into the Top 10 following his latest big win. The only reason I don’t like the fight is the fact that “Bam Bam” is currently on a two-fight losing streak while Almeida has won 14 straight. That said, due to the ranking discrepancy, matchmakers could likely justify the matchup.
Winner: Johnny Walker
Who He Should Face Next: Aleksandar Rakic
One of the things I wanted to see from Walker in this fight was a much more calculated and controlled attack, rather than a wild man going for broke at every turn. And much to a lot of people’s surprise, he did just that, turning in one of the best performances of his career while showing off improved skills. For 15 minutes Walker battered Smith’s legs and mixed in his punches and kicks very well to earn a runaway decision win. Up next for the towering Brazilian, a fight against Rakic makes sense, assuming “Rocket” is ready to make a return in the next three or four months. Indeed, Rakic suffered a horrible knee injury during his fight against Jan Blachowicz a year ago, and he has been on the mend since. Rakic is still holding firm at No. 4, with Walker currently behind him at No. 6.
Winner: Ian Garry
Who He Should Face Next: Neil Magny
Now that Garry has taken out a Top 15 fighter it’s only logical that he cracks the rankings for the first time. He could very well land at No. 12 or 13, so if he wants a fight against Magny, it’s likely that UFC matchmakers will oblige. Magny, unfortunately, is coming off a tough loss at the hands of Gilbert Burns at UFC 283, but he is still ranked No. 6 in the stacked 170-pound weight lass. Like Garry, Magny also has a win over Rodriguez, and he would be one of the most-experienced fights the young up-and-comer will have faced during his time with UFC.
Winner: Carlos Ulberg
Who He Should Face Next: Ion Cutelaba
Ulberg is slowly, yet impressively, carving away towards a spot in the Top 15 after picking up his fourth straight win thanks to his first-round knockout win over Ihor Potieria. A like a fight against Cutelaba because both men bring the heat. Cutelaba has a come forward, in your face fighting style, which pairs up with just the way Ulberg likes things. Cutelaba is coming off a knockout win over Tanner Boser, snapping his career-long three-fight skid.
Winner: Alex Morono
Who He Should Face Next: Jeremiah Wells
Morono got back on track after scoring an impressive submission win over Tim Means, which helped improved his record to 5-1 in his last six fights, a run that has gone way under the radar. A few more impressive victories and he could be knocking on the door of the Top 15 for the first time in his career. If he can get through a tough challenge such as Wells it would get him a bit closer. Wells is 4-0 inside the Octagon and is coming off a tough, split-decision win over Matthew Semelsberger.
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This story originally appeared on MMA Mania