UFC Austin delivered with an action packed card and a main event that made the card one to remember.
The Featherweight division is currently one of the hottest in the UFC, with a stacked top 15 and a number of hot prospects on the rise. The Featherweight Championship is on the line in two weeks at UFC 276, with Alexander Volkanovski looking to defend his title against Max Holloway in their trilogy bout.
Other booked fights include a top 5 contest between Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez in July, while Shane Burgos and Charles Jourdain are set to face off lower in the heat. A contest between Giga Chikadze and Bryce Mitchell has also been rumored for October, though the bout is not yet finalized.
There are so many fun fights that could be made in this division, so let's get into it.
Josh Emmett made himself a clear title contender with his decision win over Calvin Kattar. After the fight, he made it clear that he wants the title, but I think he is still one win away. Tied with the champion for longest active win streak at Featherweight, Arnold Allen has not seen defeat in any of his nine UFC bouts, and is coming off his most impressive victory, a first round knockout of Dan Hooker. A fight between these two streaking contenders leaves a clear challenger for the winner of Holloway and Volkanovski.
While he may not have came out with the victory, this Fight of the Night split decision still leaves Kattar in a good spot. His boxing and toughness were on display, not to mention that he won the fight on the Verdict scorecard. Next for Kattar, I like a clash with "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung, who is currently ranked one spot below Kattar. The Zombie has not seen action since losing his title fight opposite Volkanovski, and wants a home field advantage in South Korea for his next appearance. Kattar is also off a loss, but is still a name fit to face off with the Korean Zombie.
Veteran Edson Barboza has proven a force to be reckoned with since moving to Featherweight, but is currently coming off two straight losses to Giga Chikadze and Bryce Mitchell. #12-ranked Sodiq Yusuff had his win streak broken by Arnold Allen, but rebounded with a decision win over Alex Caceres. A talented striker in his own right, Yusuff has the pace and power to provide a fireworks clash if faced off with Barboza.
Ranked at #11, Dan Ige is now coming off three straight losses, most recently a decision to Movsar Evloev. Ige is a game fighter who is tough as nails and provides a tough test for any fighter looking to break into ranked competition. I like a match up next with Ilia Topuria, who is maybe the hottest talent in the division right now. Topuria is riding four straight UFC wins, with three coming by way of knockout. He is ranked at #15 and Ige presents a durable challenge for the rising star.
On the prelims tonight, Ricardo Ramos also picked up a massive win in the Featherweight division, knocking out Danny Chavez in just 72 seconds. Ramos is a well-rounded and battle-tested veteran who has sat on the edge of contention, but looks ready to break in since moving up to 145 pounds. I like a match with the red-hot Hakeem Dawodu, who is similarly seated just outside the rankings. Dawodu is a Muay Thai specialist coming off a decision over Mike Trizano, moving him. to 6-2 inside the UFC. This clash of styles will surely serve up the next name ready to make a splash in the rankings at Featherweight, if booked.