Matchmaking Marlon Vera, Benoit Saint-Denis, other UFC 299 losers

Marlon Vera, Benoit Saint-Denis and other UFC 299 fighters suffered losses on Saturday night. Here's who we think these main card fighters should fight next to get back in the win column.
Sean O'Malley and Marlon Vera
Sean O'Malley and Marlon Vera / GIORGIO VIERA/GettyImages
2 of 3

Yadong Song vs. Henry Cejudo

It was just not meant to be for Song on Saturday, as he found himself unable to impose his gameplan on an elite opponent like Yan. But the good news is at only 26 years of age, he still has plenty of upside.

Up next for him should be a clash with Henry Cejudo. Despite consecutive losses to former champion Aljamain Sterling and presumptive No. 1 contender Merab Dvalishvili, the former two-weight champion has indicated that he is not retiring and would like another run at the belt.

Song also wants to do the same, and a fight between the two would make for a great Fight Night main event or PPV bout.

Gilbert Burns vs. Michael Page

How far the mighty have fallen.

For the first time in his career, Burns has consecutive losses. And even worse, he is expected to fall precipitously in the rankings when they are updated on Tuesday, marking the end of his time as a serious title contender at 37 years of age.

However, that does not mean he should not be used in fun fights going forward. Page, who won in the following fight, is expected to enter the rankings close to where the Brazilian will land. Set them up for a massive PPV clash pitting brutal punching power against pinpoint taekwondo.

Kevin Holland vs. Rinat Fakhredinov

While Holland did have his moments on the ground, they mattered too little in the end, as he proved Page's inferior in the stand-up. This will surely cost him his spot in the rankings, but it is not as if he was highly ranked at all.

Moving forward, he should start working his way back up against Rinat Fakhredinov. The Russian prospect is coming off a majority draw against Elizeu Zaleski, so officials will be looking to get that run back. But in case it is not, Holland presents a compelling option.

His blend of creative striking and submission prowess presents a unique challenge for Fakhretdinov, who has mostly been a straightforward dominator in the Octagon so far.