Aaron Simpson looked great in his welterweight debut back in July, and in the first round of his battle with Mike Pierce this evening, it looked as if he would be a legitimate threat at 170 pounds. The first round of the fight saw him shut out the takedowns of Pierce, rock his opponent and threaten with a rear-naked choke in the closing moments.
Unfortunately, that was where his success ended. Early in the second round, Pierce ducked under a right hand from Simpson and delivered a monstrous knockout that will likely earn him some bonus money later this evening.
Simpson still has a lot that he can do in the division, and selecting the next opponent is important if he is to get back into the win column.
Here is a look at five fights for Aaron Simpson to take next.
Amir Sadollah is no stranger to fighting heavy-handed wrestlers. After bouts with Johny Hendricks and C.B. Dollaway, the Ultimate Fighter winner would not be in unfamiliar territory if booked against Simpson.
Sadollah has alternated wins and losses in his last three fights, and Simpson is a big threat. Unfortunately, I'm starting to get the impression that the popular fighter from Team Griffin isn't using his jiu-jitsu the way that he should be. Perhaps a fight with Simpson would force him to fight from his back; a position where he is stronger than most.
This may seem like an odd choice, as Hallman was released by the UFC and pulled from the UFC on FX 5 card on only one days notice. However, it has been reported that Hallman's absence is based on a family situation and has nothing to do with weight cutting problems as was originally announced.
If it is true that Hallman bailed out due to a family matter, there is a very high likelihood that "Superman" will be back in the UFC sooner rather than later. Based on his missed weight cut, I predict that he will come back as a welterweight, rather than take another stab at 155 pounds.
That being said, Hallman is a crafty veteran who is well-rounded and a real threat to anyone. He could test Simpson anywhere the fight goes and a win for either man would speak volumes.
Simeon Thoresen was looking good in a welterweight scrap against Seth Baczynski at UFC 152, but ultimately succumbed to a KO from the Ultimate Fighter contestant.
Using kicks to keep his opponent at a distance, Thoresen was doing damage and landing the shots that he wanted to up until his demise; sounds similar to the kind of fight that Simpson just ran into.
Put these guys across from one another and see who wants it more.
John Maguire looked tremendous in his first bouts with the UFC. His best performance came in a fight with DaMarques Johnson back in April where "Gypsy" utilized incredible grappling to secure Submission of the Night honors.
Maguire was recently shut down by John Hathaway in a performance that was criticized by Dana White as the only bad fight on the card. Sounds like John needs to redeem himself.
Is the wrestling of Simpson too much for Maguire, or will Gypsy's crafty submission game surprise the former middleweight?
I wrote this slide before Josh Neer and Justin Edwards met on the main card of UFC on FX 5, so it's possible that this bout won't make sense at all.
When I heard that Aaron Simpson was dropping to welterweight, Josh Neer was the first man who came to mind as an opponent. The veteran has seen competition against every style of opponent, and he is truly as tough as they come.
Unfortunately for Neer, with only four seconds left on the clock, he was caught by a big KO at the hands of Mike Pyle back in June.
Assuming Neer defeats Justin Edwards on the main card, I think that this fight makes sense. Both men are roughly on the same level within the division, and it would be a tough scrap.