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Sean Strickland reacts after the conclusion of his middleweight fight against Jack Hermansson of Sweden during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
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The Scorecard | UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland

Saturday’s UFC Fight Night event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in Las Vegas, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at the UFC APEX.

1 – Sean Strickland

Sean Strickland punches Jack Hermansson of Sweden in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Sean Strickland punches Jack Hermansson of Sweden in their middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The word to best describe Sean Strickland’s main event win over Jack Hermansson is “workmanlike.” The Californian showed up, put on his hard hat and went to work for 25 minutes. It wasn’t spectacular, it won’t get fans screaming for him to get a title shot, but it was a win and a clear one, despite the split verdict. And after six consecutive wins, he is in the conversation for a title shot later this year, even if it won’t be next. So that’s a win any way you slice it.

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WHAT’S NEXT? Paulo Costa or the loser of Adesanya-Whittaker 2

2 – Shavkat Rakhmonov

Shavkat Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan punches Carlston Harris of Guyana in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Shavkat Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan punches Carlston Harris of Guyana in their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

All the pieces were in place for Shavkat Rakhmonov to take a step back last Saturday night. For most, being unbeaten and fresh off two UFC finishes ramps up the hype level and causes a prospect to start believing that hype a little. Then performances suffer. But not Rakhmonov, who was as impressive as he’s ever been in knocking out a guy who had the skill and experience to be a spoiler in Carlston Harris. When it was over, it was clear that Rakhmonov doesn’t just have talent, but he’s got the mindset to shake up the welterweight division.

WHAT’S NEXT? Geoff Neal

 

3 – Julian Erosa

Julian Erosa Octagon Interview | UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland
Julian Erosa Octagon Interview | UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland
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I like Julian Erosa. And after a Fight of the Night win over Steven Peterson, a lot more people will like the Washington native, too. And for good reason. He’s an old school fighter, a veteran who’s paid his dues and who has made his way back to the UFC after plenty of ups and downs over the years. Did I mention that he always shows up to fight, too? Yeah, count me in whenever Erosa is on the card.

WHAT’S NEXT? Kevin Croom

 

4 – Chidi Njokuani

Chidi Njokuani Gets 16 Second KO in His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland
Chidi Njokuani Gets 16 Second KO in His UFC Debut | UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland
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Keeping with the theme of seasoned MMA veterans showing up to the Octagon for the first time and leaving a spectacular impression with UFC fans, Chidi Njokuani joins Chris Curtis and Victor Henry as prime examples of what experience means in a mixed martial arts fight. And yes, we only got 16 seconds of the 29-fight vet, but that was enough to make it clear that Njokuani may very well be here for a while.

WHAT’S NEXT? Joaquin Buckley or Abdul Razak Alhassan

5 – John Castaneda

John Castaneda during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)
ohn Castaneda \mb during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 05, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

In speaking with John Castaneda before his fight with Miles Johns, the Texan was confident that he was going to get the job done – and impressively. Sure, everybody says that, but Castaneda really believed it, and then he went out and put on the performance of his career against Johns, displaying a strong striking attack before finishing matters via submission. Castaneda has already proved he belongs in the UFC; now the trick is for him to stay active and begin his march to the top at 135 pounds.

WHAT’S NEXT? Cody Stamann

UFC Fight Night: Hermansson vs Strickland took place on Saturday, January 15, 2022, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. See the Final ResultsOfficial Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses — and relive all of the action on UFC Fight Pass.