Unified MMA returned for their annual year-end event this past weekend and the card was absolutely stacked with highlight-reel finishes and high-level matchups, as well as a new champion in the main event. In case you missed it, the replay of Unified MMA 42 is available now on UFC Fight Pass.
Keep in mind, in most cases, the matchups listed here are hypothetical and have not been announced or rumoured to be taking place unless otherwise noted.
Let us know your thoughts on who should be next for the big winners and the rest of the card, and who you think would win our hypothetical matchups.
Marius Ksiazkiewicz (9-1) vs. KB Bhullar (10-3)
Ksiazkiewicz made a statement with a quick and dominant win over Graham Park last weekend. Coming off a loss on Dana White Contender Series (DWCS) last November, Ksiazkiewicz rebounded in a big way. Assuming Ksiazkiewicz doesn’t get another shot in either DWCS or a UFC contract, the natural move is a title defence against a fellow Unified MMA 42 winner. Bhullar evened his 2021 record at 2-2 with his most impressive win of the year, a head kick finish of the returning Brandt Dewsbery. This matchup would certainly go a long way in getting either man back onto the UFC’s radar.
Shane Campbell (21-8) vs. UFC Lightweight
As mentioned before Campbell, has all but cleaned out the lightweight division in Canada. For whatever reason, matchups with Adam Assenza and Scott Hudson haven’t materialized and there are many hurdles to bringing in international fighters these days. Since his initial UFC stint, Campbell has gone 9-2 with six finishes against some tough competition and he deserves another shot in the big show. The UFC is obviously the preference, but perhaps Bellator or PFL would be good options as well.
Simon Marcus (1-0) vs. Matt Krayco (8-9-1)
Marcus made one of the most anticipated Unified MMA debuts in recent memory and he was able to pick up the win over Anton Tokarchuk, although not in the way anyone expected. Marcus outpointed the awkward Tokarchuk until an accidental eye poke forced the technical decision in the third round. Marcus won the rounds decisively, however was not as dominant as many expected. Considering Marcus’ extensive kickboxing resume, it’ll be a quick climb in competition inside the cage and Krayco would be a stiff test as Marcus moves to his more natural weight class of 170 pounds.
Cole Campbell (4-3) vs. Behrang Yousefi (9-7)
Campbell finally made it back into the cage after three cancellations and was able to pick up his second straight victory. Campbell picked up a decisive win over a tough Chris Chapman. Campbell is one of those fighters who’s tougher than his record indicates and could be poised for an ascent up the rankings with some consistent bookings. A tough test for Campbell’s wrestling-heavy attack would be Yousefi who’s a dangerous threat in all positions on the ground and could force Campbell into a stand-up affair.
Jett Grande (2-0-1) vs. Nick Hrabec (8-5)
After a 15-0 start as an amateur, Grande lost his final amateur bout by injury and had a draw in his pro debut. Grande is now firmly back on track in the early days of his pro career with a pair of TKO victories over Cornelius Krahn and Steven Thomas, the latter resulting in a highlight-reel knockout. As an amateur, Grande was not known as a finisher, but as he continues to evolve and add new tools to the belt he’s becoming more and more dangerous. A good step up could be Hrabec who’s put together a solid 4-1 run with all finishes and is climbing up the rankings.
Ramil Kamilov (1-0) vs. Evan Piercey (1-0)
Kamilov is another exciting amateur prospect who made his pro debut last weekend against a tough, equally-promising young fighter in Tyrell Giselbrecht. Kamilov had mixed results as an amateur against some stiff competition, including Grande and Islam Bagomedov. Kamilov finished Giselbrecht early in the first in impressive fashion and looked like he could have a bright future. Piercey would be a good test for both men going forward.