There is no better time for a fighter like Rony “Jason” Bezerra to be joining the UFC's featherweight division.
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with smart, technical stand-up? Seriously, there are very few well-rounded threats in that division and plenty of possible fights that can be made for him.
Bezerra has got to have Dana White happier than he has been since he got Ryan Bader out of TUF 8. Granted, he is 100 percent what Dana White would want out of an Ultimate Fighter winner, as he is 28 years old and therefore, is probably not going to get substantially better than he is right now.
Still, with some polishing and time, Bezerra is a very timely addition to the UFC.
For those that have not been keeping up with TUF: Brazil, Bezerra owns two of the biggest highlights from the season, with his first-round knockout of Dileno Lopes and his flying armbar submission of Anistavio Medeiros. In his finals fight against Godofredo Pepey on Saturday night at UFC 147 in Brazil, he fought smart as he ducked haymaker after haymaker, and slipped away from his opponent's ground game time and again.
He can be explosive when he needs to be. He can be disciplined when he needs to be. He is a threat standing or on the ground. Again, there are not that many fighters in the featherweight division that can say the same.
As a part of Team Nogueira, Bezerra is already rolling and sparring with greats, meaning he does not need to find a new training camp like many others that come out of The Ultimate Fighter. On top of everything else, it is very possible he will be good to fight again very soon.
With a fair number of fights under his belt (he now has an 11-3 record) and a lengthy winning streak (six and counting), he does not need to be eased into things. There are several fighters he could be put against, including Leonard Garcia, Ross Pearson, Diego Nunes and Jonathan Brookins.
Even at the top of the division, there are few potential opponents that this writer would say are definitively better than Bezerra right now. As such, it is easy to envision him in a top contender fight in under two years.
Is the sky the limit for Bezerra? No. But he is a solid fighter who is capable of entering the fray right now. Outside of Roy Nelson back in TUF10, there has not been a fighter with a such a clearly short path to success in a long time.