Alex Pereira and Tom Aspinall made history at UFC 295, but Jiri Prochazka and Sergei Pavlovich had their title tracks temporarily set back. With upcoming matchups seemingly clear for the new champions, the future for the losers on the main card is a lot muddier.
Aside from Prochazka and Pavlovich, Mackenzie Dern, Matt Frevola and Pat Sabatini also suffered devastating defeats in Madison Square Garden. All five fights on the main card ended inside the distance.
With that, here's a look at what could be next for the five fighters who suffered defeat on the UFC 295 main card.
What is next for Jiri Prochazka?
Despite it somehow not being mentioned enough in the lead-up to this fight, Prochazka supposedly just came back from the worst shoulder injury in UFC history. Regardless, the former light heavyweight champion did not look very compromised but did end up getting finished by Alex Pereira.
Prochazka's next fight is tricky, but he has a lot of options. Prochazka has fought just four times in the octagon. However, the nature of Prochazka's injury and mental state is relatively unknown, as the former champion could take some time off. Though should he return relatively soon, look for Prochazka to welcome another aspiring title challenger such as Magomed Ankalaev or Nikita Krylov.
What is next for Sergei Pavlovich?
Tom Aspinall said at the pre-fight press conference that he would not stand in the pocket with Pavlovich — in a much more vulgar way — but that's basically how he won the fight. UFC fans have seen Pavlovich lose before, but the Russian knockout artist blitzed through fan favorites and top contenders over the last couple of years and looked unbeatable until he ran into Aspinall.
Heavyweight is not a deep division, but there are still a lot of fun options for a guy like Pavlovich. Alexander Volkov would be an interesting Russian vs. Russian matchup, and Ciryl Gane does not have a future opponent after finishing Serghei Spivac.
What is next for Mackenzie Dern?
Unfortunately for Dern, 2023 has been a very rough year for her. She did look phenomenal against Angela Hill but fought like a completely different person against Jessica Andrade after seemingly parting ways with Jason Parillo in a puzzling move. Not to mention, her personal life and internal struggles have become very public recently.
It would appear to be in Dern's best interest to take time off from fighting, but her championship window is closing quickly. Dern has already fought many top-10 fighters, but she is in line for a step back in her next outing. Dern could be facing off with the streaking Luana Pinheiro next, or even feature in an intriguing style matchup with Loopy Godinez.
What is next for Matt Frevola?
If there is ever a fighter who is unfazed by losing, it is Matt Frevola. Losing at Madison Square Garden in his home state will sting, but Frevola loves action fights and mentioned leading into this fight that he cares more about fun fights than rankings.
With Frevola's stereotypical 'never say no' attitude, he could truly face anyone next. However, it will likely be an unranked opponent. Diego Ferreira would not hesitate to throw down with Frevola, and who would not want to see him fight Joel Alvarez? There are a lot of options for a guy like Frevola at lightweight.
What is next for Pat Sabatini?
Of all the finishes on the main card, Diego Lopes' first-round knockout of Pat Sabatini was undoubtedly the most surprising. The loss is, however, Sabatini's second knockout defeat in his last three fights.
Featherweight is a loaded division, and Sabatini has endless options for his next appearance. He would have gained a lot with a win at UFC 295, but he has still shown that he is an above-average UFC fighter.
Jack Shore would be a very fun wrestler vs. wrestler matchup, or Sabatini could engage in wild scrambles with Ricardo Ramos. We all know Darren Elkins would never turn him down, especially after a big submission win over TJ Brown. The bucket of options are truly bottomless.