The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Chicago with an outstanding fight card that featured an array of stoppages and several upsets mixed into the night’s action. Anthony Pettis and Ricardo Lamas stood out as legitimate contenders after their impressive performances, Glover Teixeira took another step towards a light-heavyweight title shot and Demetrious Johnson survived an early scare to win a unanimous decision against TUF winner John Dodson.
Here are the fights to make after UFC on FOX 6:
1. Anthony Pettis vs. Henderson/Melendez winner
Anthony Pettis made yet another statement with his second consecutive knockout win, this time over the extremely tough Donald Cerrone who had never been TKO’ed prior to Saturday night. Pettis confused Cerrone from the start with his flashy technique and his surprise switch in stance and ultimately finished off with a liver kick that buckled ‘Cowboy’.
What is next for Pettis? Clearly the 26-year-old has proven that he is deserving of a lightweight title shot having run through his recent competition as well as holding a win over the current champ Benson Henderson. Although the champ is currently scheduled to meet Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez at the UFC on FOX 7 show in April, Pettis will most likely sit out and await his long overdue title shot. His style would make for a great match-up with either winner and will certainly be something to look forward to.
2. Glover Teixeira vs. Phil Davis
Glover Teixeira picked up the biggest win of his career on Saturday night when he defeated former light-heavyweight champ Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson via unanimous decision. Although the win was a dominant one, where Glover controlled the fight on the ground as well as on the feet, he lacked the truly impressive performance that would usually earn him a title shot. With the light-heavyweight title picture crowded for the better part of 2013, Glover will most likely have to win a couple more fights before earning a title shot. Next for him should be a match-up with All-American wrestler Phil Davis. Davis’ only loss was to former light-heavyweight champ Rashad Evans and his elite wrestling could be a dangerous test for the Brazilian.
3. Ricardo Lamas vs. Aldo/Edgar winner
Ricardo Lamas silenced many critics on Saturday night when he left touted featherweight Erik Koch lying in a bloody mess in the second round of their fight. Lamas is now on a four-fight win streak that include wins over Cub Swanson, Matt Grice and Hatsu Hioki prior to Saturday night. Having knocked off one of the division’s top contenders, it may be time for Lamas to get a hard-earned title shot. Whilst Chan-Sung-Jung may be the more marketable fighter of the two, his long lay-off due to shoulder surgery has definitely slowed down his momentum leaving the path open for another contender in Lamas.
4. TJ Grant vs. Jamie Varner
With his violent KO of Matt Wiman on Saturday night, TJ Grant made a statement to the rest of the lightweight division and will certainly not be taken lightly from here on out. Now on a four-fight win streak dating back to October 2011, which include wins over Shane Roller, Carlo Prater and Evan Dunham, Grant will be looking for a significant step up in competition so that he can continue to climb the lightweight ranks. Whilst he did ask for Jim Miller, it is more likely that Grant will be offered a slightly lower ranked lightweight in Jamie Varner. Varner rebounded from a loss to Joe Lauzon with a split decision win over Melvin Guillard and a match-up with Grant would make for an outstanding fight.