In a night already riddled with emerging contenders, there was perhaps no one who stole the focus more than Jimy Hettes.
Hettes faced the toughest test of his career on Dec. 30 in the form of Nam Phan. He passed that test with flying colors.
From start to finish, he imposed his will, repeatedly dragging Phan to the ground and constantly threatening with submissions and ground-and-pound.
It was a thing of beauty to watch Hettes work his jiu-jitsu. His performance got the attention of everyone watching.
But is Jimy Hettes the real deal?
Yes. A resounding yes.
Phan might not be the best fighter in the featherweight division, but he's fought grizzled veterans like Leonard Garcia and Mike Brown. Neither of them was able to do to Phan what Hettes did tonight.
To give you an idea of just how dominant a performance it was, Compustrike had Hettes out-landing Phan by 117-27 and also had an 8-0 edge in takedowns.
Should they toss this guy into the title picture?
Absolutely not. But after a performance like that, there is no denying that he has incredible potential.
It's worth noting that Hettes came into this fight as a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Phan was a black belt, but it was Hettes who dominated on the ground.
The only foreseeable problem for Hettes right now is his striking game, which looked only a little above average tonight. As long as he continues to improve, big things are going to happen for this young man.
Look out featherweights, Hettes is coming for you.