Ivan Menjivar vs. Mike Easton was expected to be a Fight of the Night candidate. Unfortunately, the fans were not given the fight they expected.
Menjivar and Easton fought in a relatively uneventful decision that went the way of Easton. Easton moved forward in all three rounds, but neither fighter landed much of anything.
The loss especially hurts Menjivar, who was on his way toward a title shot prior to UFC 148’s outcome.
When UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz went out with an injury, Menjivar’s name was on the shortlist to replace him against Urijah Faber. That, of course, did not happen.
With the knowledge that he was on that shortlist, Menjivar had to have known a victory would have put him on the brink of a title shot in the near future. Maybe that is why "The Pride of El Salvador" was tentative on Satuday night, but we cannot be sure of that.
All we know is that he was on the wrong end of the scorecards. Mike Easton earned the decision by moving forward and being more active. Something that was definitely in Menjivar’s power to overcome.
So, what is next for Ivan Menjivar?
First and foremost, the loss was not devastating. That is the one saving grace. On the other side of the coin, the fight was not exciting.
The best use for Menjivar would be to pit him against a mid-tier bantamweight coming off of a victory. This will keep Menjivar’s name atop the list of candidates should another injury plague the UFC.
Even though Brad Pickett is slated for UFC on FX 5 in September against Yves Jabouin, that is the opponent I would like to see opposite Menjivar next.
In the final WEC event, the two met in a tightly contested, exciting matchup that Pickett won on the judges’ scorecards.
The rematch would be a pleasure to see in England.
Pickett and Menjivar should provide the fireworks many suspected would happen between Easton and Menjivar. The Nottingham, England crowd would definitely enjoy watching the bantamweight clash.
All in all, UFC 148 was a disappointment for Menjivar.
On the precipice of becoming one of the division’s top contenders, the loss drops him down the ladder, where he will have to prove himself once again. Going out on his shield may have been a better way to lose than the uneventful way in which he did.
Menjivar will re-enter the Octagon later this year, and when he does he should try to impress. If he doesn’t, he may not like the end result from the UFC bosses.