Mike Easton has just emerged as a potential contender in the UFC's bantamweight division, defeating Ivan Menjivar by unanimous decision at UFC 148. It wasn't exactly an action-packed fight, but it is the biggest win of Easton's career.
The majority of the contest took place standing, with both fighters a little hesitant to engage. In particular, Menjivar spent a lot of time moving back, which resulted in both fighters missing a lot of strikes and putting up pretty underwhelming FightMetric stats.
Easton was certainly the more aggressive fighter in this one and it paid off for him, as he was able to out-point Menjivar en route to a decision win.
Considering that Menjivar was recently being considered to fight Urijah Faber for the UFC Interim Bantamweight Championship—a shot that was eventually given to Renan Barao—this victory definitely puts Easton in the mix at the top of his division.
So, what's next for Mike Easton?
Well, the top of the bantamweight division isn't exactly budding with contenders, so there aren't too many options.
Brad Pickett would make sense. He's an extremely experienced fighter and a tough test for almost anyone in the bantamweight division. Pickett is also a talented grappler, so he would be good to test for Easton's ground game.
Eddie Wineland is another viable option. Like Pickett, he is an experienced fighter with solid grappling.
If Easton is lucky, he may be matched with Michael Mcdonald, who is one of the hottest prospects in the sport today. McDonald is ranked quite a bit higher than Easton, but currently he doesn't have a fight booked, so it is possible.