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The Vanquished: What’s Next for the UFC Fight Night 241 Losers?


The Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight division has a new contender in the fold if it wasn’t glaringly apparent before now. In the main event, UK’s rising 145-pound prospect Lerone Murphy handled business decisively, outclassing an explosive veteran in Edson Barboza adept in warfare. The lone promotional showcase at the Apex Facility in Las Vegas for the month served as the perfect propulsion point before the organization set the festivities in motion at the “brick city” with UFC 302, set to go down on June 1 at the Prudential Center, in Newark, New Jersey. As the ink dries on another commendable effort at the Las Vegas-based facility we engage in the task of matchmaking for the fighters on the main card who unfortunately didn’t get their hands raised.

Luana Pinheiro


Saturday night couldn’t have gone better for Angela Hill. “Overkill” was in the lap of thrilling jubilation having secured her first submission win in her 25th appearance for the UFC. For as long as her bout with Pinheiro lasted, Hill proved to be the better fighter in every regard. She held the whip hand in the striking exchanges while also imposing her will in the grappling department. The second round proved to be the momentum-fueled ground of the American’s solid display in the first frame. With just under a minute left in the second, Pinheiro dropped down for a slothful takedown attempt offering Hill enough time to lock in a guillotine choke and seal the submission win at the 4:12 mark.

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Pinheiro, who succumbed to a second straight loss will surely observe her spot at No.9 on strawweight rankings erode. However, these losses are noting to fret over but rather serves as a guiding lesson for future plans. With that said, the Brazilian pairs well against Lupita Godinez, the current No.10 ranked 115-pounder who dropped a unanimous decision loss to Virna Jandiroba at her UFC on ESPN 54 outing in March earlier this year.

Vinicius Salvador


Adrian Yanez’s performance at the recently concluded fight night showcase served as a potent reminder that despite his two previous losses, no one can discount his prowess inside the Octagon. The American got his name drawn back in the win column with a first-round TKO victory over Salvador. The bantamweights came out guns blazing, and during one exchange, Yanez caught Salvador in the lapse of faltering defense with a staggering overhand right that dropped the Brazilian. It was all Yanez from that instant as he swarmed and pounded out the finish at the 2:47 mark of the back half of the opening round.

There’s no way to sugarcoat Salvador’s plight but to acknowledge that he’s walking on eggshells in the organization. The Dana White’s Contender Series graduate hasn’t registered a single win since he signed with the UFC, dropping three straight fights till now. If he retains his spot on the roster, the organization can consider booking him against Saimon Oliveira next— a fellow Contender Series graduate, who has been on the unfortunate side of the loss column twice since signing with the promotion. The congruous appetite for kindred goals makes for an exciting clash where fighting tooth and nail for their spot on the roster is the ultimate prize.

Ramiz Brahimaj


Themba Gorimbo’s battle for a greater objective left no room for defeat. “The Answer” was also fighting for his coach who tragically lost his mother during fight week that left him awash in an overflow of emotions during media day. Gorimbo executed a grappling-heavy approach en route to a unanimous decision win, his third straight triumph in as many fights. The fight proved to be a sluggish, low-yield, clinch-heavy affair where Gorimbo’s brawn prevailed thanks to unanimous scores of 30-27 on all the judges’ scorecards.

Brahimaj’s promotional record now tilts slightly heavy to the side of losses with a 2-3 posting. The Fortis MMA standout pairs up well against Preston Parsons, an Elevate MMA product who carries a 2-2 record in the organization. Parsons was last seen inside the Octagon against Matthew Semelsberger, prevailing over his foe by a unanimous decision that followed a split decision loss to Trevin Giles.

Carlston Harris


Kalinn Williams got the better of the welterweight co-main event standoff, registering a first-round knockout win over Harris in a middle-of-the-cage fistfight. As the pair swung ferocious blows, Williams swung with a counter right hand behind one of Harris’ punches, sending the Guyana native crashing to the canvas. This marks Williams’ fourth victory in five outings as he continues pushing forward in the welterweight ranks.

As for Harris, the loss would mean a brief off-course adjustment to persevere the plan, but realistically, at 36, the prospect of a championship run is frail. Having said that, there’s no shortage of good matchup opportunities, like a potential pairing against Gabe Green. “Gifted” posts a 2-3 promotional record and hasn’t competed since the first-round knockout loss to Bryan Battle in May 2023. If not that, and the organization plans on booking him against a surging prospect, 24-year-old Michael Morales seems like a worthy challenger. The Ecuadorian is undefeated in 16 professional fights and holds a 4-0 record in the UFC.

Edson Barboza


More often than not, every seasoned hand must eventually yield to a fresh face. But Barboza, a perennial menacing presence on the UFC roster since November 2010, would not give up established ground easily. Lerone Murphy was the better-prepared fighter from the onset, showing a diverse range of striking layered on his boxing skills, dishing out unremitting punishment that kept stacking up. There were several instances where the finish looked all but certain but Barboza’s mettle and experience held up to the pressure. When the bout finally concluded, the judges scored the contest 50-45, 50-45 and 49-46 for Murphy, who remained undefeated after the biggest win of his career so far.

At 38, it’s practically guaranteed that Barboza only has a handful of battles left in the tank. In this stage of his career, the Brazilian, his fans, and the organization would greatly benefit by pairing him against a fellow striking exponent in a matchup built on the fantasy of an epic encounter. Who wouldn’t want to see him paired against Yair Rodriguez, the No.4-ranked contender on a two-fight losing skid against elite competition? The matchup crackles with electricity and promises to be a showdown of epic proportions while staying within reason for all parties involved.

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