What mattered most at UFC on ABC 6 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia? Listed below are a couple of post-fight musings …

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Is Volkan Oezdemir a contender once more?

Volkan Oezdemir put himself in competition for MMA Junkie’s Knockout of the Month in June when he flattened Johnny Walker with a devastating end lower than three minutes into the opening spherical of their mild heavyweight bout.

After having an especially sizzling begin to his UFC profession that earned him a title shot towards then-champ Daniel Cormier, it’s been an inconsistent highway for Oezdemir (20-7 MMA, 8-6 UFC). He’s come up quick in some high-profile spots, however now he has consecutive victories on his resume for the primary time since 2019.

Does the knockout of Walker inform us a lot we didn’t already find out about Oezdemir? In all probability not. However when you had been selecting him to win this battle, you couldn’t actually ask for a extra environment friendly win than he delivered. Walker has given harder fights to extra highly-ranked opposition, in order that’s a feather in Oezdemir’s cap.

The facility of the Swede is all the time going to be an X-factor in his favor when he steps in that octagon. If he can string collectively a pair extra of a majority of these performances towards notable competitors, he could be again within the title combine some seven years after his first try.

Alexander Volkov breaks via

Alexander Volkov has been trying to find that victory over a top-three heavyweight for the whole thing of his UFC profession, and he lastly obtained it towards Sergei Pavlovich.

Volkov (38-10 MMA, 12-4 UFC) placed on one of many sharpest performances of his octagon tenure in a one-sided unanimous determination towards Pavlovich, who previous to his defeat towards Tom Aspinall in November, was checked out as one of the vital terrifying power-punchers in heavyweight historical past.

With 4 straight victories, Volkov is in stronger ballot place for a title shot than ever earlier than. He known as out Jon Jones in his post-fight interview, however we all know that’s not taking place.

What is way extra seemingly for him, nonetheless, is that Jones and Stipe Miocic each retire after their anticipated Nov. 9 title battle, and Volkov is in a powerful place to get the winner of interim champ Aspinall vs. Curtis Blaydes, who rematch subsequent month at UFC 304 in Manchester.

Robert Whittaker exhibits there are ranges

Robert Whittaker was decided and targeted on victory regardless of unideal circumstances in the primary occasion, and he channeled that into one of the vital spectacular efforts of his storied UFC profession.

Whittaker (26-7 MMA, 17-5 UFC) might’ve simply rejected his major occasion spot as soon as Khamzat Chimaev fell out. Not solely did he not blink when the battle fell via, however he immediately accepted Ikram Aliskerov because the substitute opponent and satisfied himself it was a tougher battle than initially scheduled.

Then Whittaker got here out and ran via Aliskerov, who was stuffed with confidence that he was about to have his personal career-changing second. However now. The web page is not going to be turned but – no less than not on Whittaker’s watch.

The previous UFC champ now has back-to-back wins since his loss to now-champ Dricus Du Plessis practically a yr in the past, and it’s towards two respectable names in Aliskerov and Paulo Costa. He dubbed himself the “boogeyman” at 185 kilos after this, and whereas some would possibly take subject with that declare, it’s good to see Whittaker presenting probably the most assured model of himself.

May Whittaker be on deck to problem the winner of Du Plessis vs. Israel Adesanya at UFC 305 on Aug. 17? He might make a large declare to that if he takes a battle on that card, particularly towards somebody like Sean Strickland. We’ll see the way it performs out, but it surely’s definitely attention-grabbing instances within the middleweight division.

Robert Whittaker post-fight press convention interview

Dana White post-fight press convention interview

For extra on the cardboard, go to MMA Junkie’s occasion hub for UFC on ABC 6.