Who’s Next… Unified MMA 46

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unified MMA was back at the River Cree Resort and Casino this past weekend with an absolutely stacked Unified MMA 46 card that included several mind-blowing finishes and a couple of huge upsets, at the very least in the eyes of the partisan Edmonton crowd.

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.

Jamelle Jones (13-8) vs. PFL 2023 Season

Jones scored a decisive win to dethrone Christian Larsen and stun the hometown crowd this past weekend. With the sparse nature of the heavyweight division in Canada, it’s unlikely we see Jones back in the Unified cage, at least not right away. With the exception of Caio Machado, there are no other high-level heavyweights in Canada who aren’t locked into “big five” promotion contracts for Jones to defend against. It makes little sense to bring in another American to fight Jones and he’s also currently in negotiations to return for the 2023 PFL season. Jones did express that Unified would be his “regional home,” so it would be wise of Unified to give Larsen a fight or two to climb back up the ladder and earn a rematch while Jones potentially battles it out for the million-dollar cheque in PFL.

KB Bhullar (12-4) vs. Curtis Millender (19-9)

We were barely getting started in this intriguing matchup when an apparent eye poke forced a sudden and disappointing stoppage. Being that the action was underway for barely 90 seconds, we weren’t given any indication of who might come out on top of this clash of UFC veterans. It only makes sense to run this one back as we were likely poised for a very fan-friendly matchup. Not too much more to say on this one. If both men are willing and available, this is the match to make.

Stephen Beaumont (10-3) vs. Kyle Prepolec (15-8)

Beaumont wasted little time this last weekend, absolutely blitzing TUF veteran Michael Hill in just over a minute for the TKO victory. Beaumont returned following a nearly four-and-a-half-year layoff and scored the biggest win of his career, which also sent Hill into retirement following his first fight in almost two years. Beaumont made a statement and announced that this was not a one-and-done return and has already made a callout. Beaumont called for a fight with UFC veteran Kyle Prepolec at 165 or 170 pounds and a win over the UFC veteran could put “Big Bad” in title contention in short order.

Brandon Jenkins (16-9) vs. Shane Campbell (22-8)

Jenkins scored one of the most explosive knockouts in recent Unified MMA history, much to the chagrin of the hometown crowd who was obviously very vocal in their support of Neal Anderson. Like Jones, Jenkins is also in talks with a couple major promotions but might also be open to returning to the Unified cage. If Jenkins doesn’t get the contract he’s looking for, a matchup and a win against Unified mainstay Campbell would likely garner him the contract he desires, but it’ll be no easy task. Campbell has been struggling to find willing opponents, but after this statement win you’d have to think Jenkins’ confidence is high and he’d be ready, willing and able to step in there with the welterweight champ, especially if there’s a chance to capture a title.

Alex O’Neil (5-0) vs. Zackery Powell (6-1)

O’Neil was definitely the lesser-known half of his fight against Jett Grande, but he proved that he was in no way a lesser fighter. Grande controlled the positioning for much of the fight, but O’Neil punished him and inflicted damage from bell to bell, including a 10-8 round, leaving the decorated amateur a bloody mess at the final horn. O’Neil has put himself on the map and established himself as a promising prospect in the always-competitive lightweight division. Another fighter who has emerged over the last couple years is Powell, who has had fights at lightweight and, assuming he’s interested in making the division his home, would couple with O’Neil to make an intriguing contest.

Sean Michael (3-0) vs. Ramil Kamilov (3-0)

After finding mixed results in the amateur ranks, Michael has really started to put it together after turning pro in 2019. Michael has rattled off three straight submission victories and already has his sights set on a step up in competition. As I was writing this paragraph, Michael and fellow unbeaten pro Ramil Kamilov were trading barbs on Instagram and calling for Unified to book the fight. Matchmaking doesn’t get much easier than this, and with an upcoming card in Cowtown, we could get this fight by the end of 2022.

On the Rebound:

Christian Larsen (7-3) vs. Anthony Hamilton (18-11)

Michael Hill (11-7-1) vs. Retirement (Announced)

Neal Anderson (11-6) vs. Nick Hrabec (8-5)

Jett Grande (4-1-1) vs. Kyran Cameron (5-2)

Tyrell Giselbrecht (2-2) vs. Andrew Mavridis (1-1)

Who’s Next brought to you by Lisa McInnes – Verico Paragon Mortgage Inc.