Jacob Volkmann has just won his fifth straight fight in the UFC's lightweight division, defeating Ultimate Fighter winner Efrain Escudero by unanimous decision.
It was a dominant performance by Volkmann, who showed his superior grappling skills by controlling Escudero for much of the fight.
Throughout the fight, Volkman seemed confident in his abilities and did an excellent job of imposing his game plan.
Escudero almost stole the fight with a late submission attempt, but Volkmann stayed calm and fought through it, lasting until the end of the round.
What We'll Remember about This Fight
As impressive a performance as it was from Volkmann, by far the most entertaining part of the fight was Escudero's last-minute attempt at a north-south choke.
Everybody loves to see a comeback, and I think it's safe to say we were all on the edge of our seats when Escudero almost pulled off the victory.
What We Learned about Jacob Volkmann
He could be a dark horse in the lightweight division.
He's won five straight fights at 155 lbs. and hasn't come across an opponent yet who can contend with his grappling abilities.
It's a little too soon to say if Volkmann could contend with the division's best wrestlers, like Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, but his performance tonight suggests he is ready for a top-15 fighter—at least.
What We Learned about Efrain Escudero
Escudero is not—and possibly never will be—a contender in the lightweight division.
His biggest claim to fame is his grappling abilities, and tonight Volkmann was able to out-grapple him with relative ease.
If Escudero couldn't contend with Volkmann's grappling, I don't see him beating Clay Guida, Gray Maynard, Ben Henderson or Frankie Edgar.
Escudero is a middle-of-the-road fighter and likely won't last too much longer in the UFC.
Credit to him, however, Escudero did show a lot of heart by sticking in the fight to the very end and almost pulling off a submission.
What's Next for Jacob Volkmann
As I mentioned, opponents in the top-15 range would be suitable.
Matt Wiman, Jeremy Stephens, Melvin Guillard or Kenny Florian would all make sense.
What's Next for Efrain Escudero
Because of the heart he showed tonight, I think Dana White will give Escudero another shot in the UFC.
Expect him to face off against a low- to mid-level opponent like Dennis Hallman, Thiago Tavares, Mac Danzig or Yves Edwards.
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