In the main event of UFC Vegas 31, rising lightweight contenders met as Islam Makhachev took on Thiago Moises.
Makhahcev entered the fight coming off a dominant third-round submission win over Drew Dober back at UFC 259. He has been called a future champion by his protégé Khabib Nurmagomedov and has looked like it so far. Moises, meanwhile, was coming off wins over Alexander Hernandez, Bobby Green, and Michael Johnson.
In the end, it was Makhachev who got his hand raised as he submitted Moises in the fourth round. With the win, it’s likely the Dagestani native will get a top-10 or top-five opponent next. Now, following UFC Vegas 31 here’s what I think should be next for Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises.
Islam Makhachev has continued his dominance and is someone many fighters in the lightweight division won’t want to face.
In the fight, Makhachev showed off his improved striking when he got the fight to the mat, he was even better. He controlled Moises for the majority of the scrap, and in the fourth, he got the submission win.
After the win, Makhachev mentioned several opponents like Tony Ferguson, Michael Chandler, and Rafael dos Anjos. Yet, to me, the dos Anjos fight makes the most sense. Makhachev and RDA were booked twice previously and it could headline a Fight Night card later this year with the winner getting a top-five opponent.
Thiago Moises took a chance and fought Makhachev and it didn’t go his way. It was a big step-up for the Brazilian who had lasted longer than many thought.
Although this was Moises’ chance to enter the top-10, he will still remain a top-15 lightweight and has options for his next fight. He could face someone like Brad Riddell, but a scrap against Arman Tsarukyan makes sense. It would be an intriguing matchup between two high-level grapplers. The winner would get a step up the ranks while the loser would have to defend their spot against an unranked foe.
Who do you think should be next for Islam Makhachev and Thiago Moises after UFC Vegas 31?