3 winners and 3 losers from UFC Vegas 28

Santiago Ponzinibbio won the most crucial fight of his career at UFC Vegas 28
Santiago Ponzinibbio won the most crucial fight of his career at UFC Vegas 28

UFC Vegas 28 is in the books. Although the card did not have the biggest names in the UFC competing on the night, it did deliver some impressive performances. Four fights on the card ended with finishes, and a total of nine went the distance. However, it does not mean that the card did not have impressive performances.

While it is said that any fighter in MMA is only as good as his last performance, here is the list of three winners and three losers from UFC Vegas 28, whose wins and losses go beyond their performance on fight night.

Winners from UFC Vegas 28:

3) Muslim Salikhov

The 36-year-old fighter is not a young prospect by any means. However, Salikhov has won five straight fights in the UFC after dropping his debut against Alex Garcia back in November 2017. Although his UFC Vegas 28 win came over an aging veteran in Francisco Trinaldo in the latter's divisional debut, Salikhov did show that he is very much a seasoned veteran of the welterweight division himself.

2) Jairzinho Rozenstruik

Falling out of the top five in the rankings is never a good proposition for a fighter, especially without ever fighting for the title. Jairzinho Rozenstruik's loss to Ciryl Gane in February cost him two spots in the rankings as he fell to number six from the previously occupied number four.

However, the Surinamese fighter's first-round knockout win over an up-and-coming Augusto Sakai at UFC Vegas 28 has reinstated his position as a top-tier fighter in the heavyweight division. The 33-year-old is still very young for the UFC's most aged weight class and has proven once again that he is here to stay.

1) Santiago Ponzinibbio

Only a handful of fighters have been able to return from long layoffs and life-threatening health issues to reclaim their spot in the competitive sphere of MMA. Back in 2018, Santiago Ponzinibbio was considered a serious threat in the UFC's welterweight division before a long battle with health issues took away two years of his prime.

Most experts in the MMA community seemed to have written off Santiago Ponzinibbio after devastatingly losing to Li Xingliang upon his comeback. The Argentinian's win over a young and undefeated Miguel Baeza at UFC Vegas 28 was by no means a signal that 'Gente Boa' is back in full form. However, Ponzinibbio overcame adversity and earned a hard-fought decision win, hinting that he could very well turn the clock and launch himself into a run for the title.

Losers from UFC Vegas 28:

3) Walt Harris

'The Big Ticket' went through unimaginable depths of pain in his personal life after a very successful run in 2019. Since his return to competition in 2020, Walt Harris has suffered three straight knockout losses, including his latest loss to Marcin Tybura at UFC Vegas 28.

Overcoming the loss of a loved one and finding the strength to compete is the biggest victory any fighter could achieve, and Walt Harris deserves a lot of praise for that. However, the 37-year-old seems to have hit a rocky road in his career.

2) Ariane Lipski

Ariane Lipski came into the UFC as one of the most marketable female fighters. 'The Queen of Voilence' has an aggressive, fan-friendly fighting style and a great personality to go with it. Ronda Rousey is a perfect example of what the UFC could achieve with a fighter like that.

However, a negative win to loss ratio can present serious challenges to the UFC's marketing machinery. Not only has Ariane Lipski been finished in two of her most recent fights, but she is also yet to put a streak together and defeat meaningful opposition in the UFC.

Lipski slipped to a UFC record of 2 wins and 4 losses after the TKO loss to Montana De La Rosa at UFC Vegas 28. Unless Ariane Lipski makes the necessary adjustments, she stands on the edge of becoming another waste of talent.

1) Makwan Amirkhani

It is frustrating for a UFC fighter to taste failures at the lower end of the heap. However, losing multiple high-stakes fights after intermediate periods of success can have a far worse impact on a fighter's confidence and subsequent career trajectory.

Makwan Amirkhani (16-6 MMA, 6-4 UFC) started his UFC career with three straight wins. But losses to Arnold Allen, Shane Burgos, and Edson Barboza severely affected his chances of carving a place among the top fifteen.

Amirkhani's UFC Vegas 28 loss to newcomer Kamuela Kirk could render him similar to fighters like Jeremy Stephens and Michael Johnson, who, despite being skilled fighters, could not make it to title contention.

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Edited by Avinash Tewari
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