No one wants to be a stepping stone, but Miguel Torres just became one for up-and-comer Michael McDonald.
Heading into UFC 145, many believed that the 21-year-old McDonald was not ready for a fighter of Torres' caliber, but the youngster proved his doubters wrong, knocking out the former bantamweight champion in just over three minutes.
Without a doubt, this is a disappointing loss for Torres, who was looking to make his way back into the bantamweight title picture.
Now, Torres will need to quickly string together some wins if he wants another shot at the belt. At 31 years old, Torres might seem young, but he is actually fairly old for a bantamweight. The lighter weight classes rely heavily on speed and agility, and those skills fade quickly with age.
So, coming off the loss at UFC 145, what's next for Miguel Torres?
In the interest of advancing his ranking at 135lbs. as quickly as possible, Scott Jorgensen and Brian Bowles are Torres' two best options—both men are also coming off losses.
Bowles was submitted by Urijah Faber back at UFC 139 and Jorgensen lost a unanimous decision to Renan Barao at UFC 143.
Both these fighters are considered by many to be top five fighters in the bantamweight division and victories over either of them would be huge for Torres.
However, coming off a loss, Torres being given fighters who are ranked above him is a bit unlikely. A more likely matchup would be Brad Pickett.
Torres and Pickett are both high-level bantamweights, who are likely nearing the end of their careers, or at least the end of their relevancy near the top of the division.
Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and stand-up comedian. Check him out on Twitter @AndrewBarr8.