UFC Fight Night 152 brings an end to a six-week run of events for MMA’s biggest promotion and its final fight saw a big victory for one of their most experienced stars.
With Rafael dos Anjos on a two-fight losing streak, a fight with Kevin Lee looked to be a stylistic nightmare for the Brazilian fighter.
After a gruelling three rounds at a high pace, however, ‘RDA’s’ experience at the top level shone through as he capitalised on a waning Lee’s mistakes to sink in a fourth-round arm triangle submission.
Elsewhere on UFC Fight Night 152’s main card, a whole host of new faces impressed. With Ian Heinisch defeating Antonio Carlos Junior in the middleweight division and promotional debutant Felicia Spencer submitting Megan Anderson in the first round, the UFC will be happy with their overlooked Rochester, New York card.
With a healthy break until June 1st where Alexander Gustafsson will take on Anthony Smith in Stockholm, Sweden, here are five fights that the UFC can mull over with some of the big winners of UFC Fight Night 152:
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Pettis / Diaz Winner
Tasked with his third straight pressuring wrestler, Rafael dos Anjos broke out of his losing streak to submit Kevin Lee in his welterweight debut.
With ‘RDA’ more accustomed to the welterweight limit and the extra weight on his frame, the Brazilian endured a fast-paced start from his opponent only to find the finish in the ‘championship rounds’.
Dos Anjos is now 4-2 at 170 lbs with his two losses coming to the current champion and the next expected title challenger.
With a wait seemingly on his hands before potentially challenging for the welterweight strap, a rematch with whoever emerges victorious in the upcoming Anthony Pettis – Nate Diaz fight would allow RDA to break away from his recent grappling heavy opponents.
Ian Heinisch vs. Derek Brunson
Defeating his second talented Brazilian grappler in as many fights for the UFC, Ian Heinisch will most likely enter the top 15 when the promotions rankings are next updated.
Displaying a hard-working and gritty fighting style, Heinisch will prove to be a tough opponent for whoever he faces next in the middleweight division.
With a call-out of Derek Brunson already out there, a fight between the two would make sense in a weight class that is divided between potential title challengers and prospects.
Vicente Luque vs. Maia / Martin Winner
After a tricky start against his short-notice opponent Derrick Krantz, Vicente Luque returned to form as he scored his ninth stoppage in as many UFC wins.
Now on a five-fight winning streak, Luque needs a step-up in competition that Neil Magny was going to provide before his flagging from USADA.
With former title challenger Demian Maia set to take on Anthony Rocco Martin next month, the winner should be paired up with Luque.
Charles Oliveira vs. Islam Makhachev
Defeating Nik Lentz inside the distance for essentially the third time – their first fight being ruled a no contest for an illegal knee – Oliveira has hopefully escaped the UFC’s bizarre recent booking for the Brazilian.
Adding to his plethora of UFC records with another stoppage win, Oliviera needs a fellow ranked lightweight for his next outing.
With Islam Makhachev calling out ‘Do Bronx’ after his win, a fight pitting truly elite levels of Sambo and Jiu-Jitsu against each other would make for a fascinating watch.
Michel Pereira vs. Niko Price
Michel Pereira put in probably one of the best UFC debuts of all-time on Saturday night as his explosive fighting style blew away Danny Roberts inside one round.
Pereira is simply a bundle of energy and athleticism and the UFC can practically do no wrong with his next opponent.
With Niko Price occupying a similar role in the welterweight division, a fight between two explosive fighters is a guarantee of fireworks in the Octagon.