Mike "The Hulk" Easton may not be a giant, green superhero, but he is certainly garnering plenty of attention in the ever-growing UFC bantamweight division.
At UFC 148, he extended his win streak to eight with a unanimous decision victory over wily veteran Ivan Menjivar.
With the emergence of Renan Barao and Michael McDonald, the UFC bantamweight division is quickly loading up with talent. At 28 years of age, Easton is a legitimate bantamweight, who could one day crack into the upper-echelon portion of the division.
Unfortunately, he is still an unfinished body of work. Menjivar is undoubtedly a tough opponent, but Easton showed serious struggles in his ability to close the distance and cut off the cage.
Upper-echelon bantamweights such as champion Dominick Cruz, Urijah Faber and Barao are masters at utilizing range to their advantage. Cruz is especially a matchup nightmare for most fighters due to his ability to move in and out of the pocket so easily on opponents.
Easton is certainly a threat at bantamweight. He boasts rare knockout power for a 135-pounder combined with a strong grappling base. The Maryland native is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under world-renowned BJJ practitioner Lloyd Irvin.
It will be interesting to see how his wrestling stacks up against some of the tougher guys in the division. Future bouts against Brian Bowles or Scott Jorgensen would go a long way in forecasting Easton's UFC future.
Will "The Hulk" continue to smash his way to the top, or is he bound to hit a wall when he faces stiffer opposition?
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