Hatsu Hioki looked like a different fighter when he defeated Bart Palaszewski by unanimous decision at UFC 144.
Hioki controlled the fight both in the standing department and on the ground and was able to escape any attempt that Palaszewski made to submit him.
Hioki has now won six straight fights and has an overall record of 26-4-2.
With UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo coming off of a win against Chad Mendes, Hioki should be looking for a title shot next.
Aldo has faced nearly every other top contender in the division.
No matter if the fighter was a great striker, wrestler or submission artist, Aldo has been able to overcome any challenge.
Hioki could be the last challenge left for Aldo.
Hioki brings great wrestling and a strong submission game to the table. Also, a majority of his four losses have been by close split decisions.
It's hard to say if there is anybody, at least at 145 pounds that can come close to challenging Aldo.
But considering that he has defeated every other top challenger that has been thrown at him, Hioki should get the next stab at Aldo before he possibly makes the move to lightweight.
If Hioki can continue to improve his game like he did tonight, he could indeed make an exciting fight with Aldo.
But it's hard to say it will be enough to defeat the champ.