Rousimar Palhares looked like a fish out of water against Hector Lombard at UFC on FX 6.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, who is known for his brute strength and powerful leg locks, found out what it's like to get bullied by the burlier Lombard.
Instead of pressing forward, Palhares merely backpedaled the entire time to avoid Lombard's devastating power. The plan of retreat only delayed the inevitable, as Lombard trapped him against the cage and unloaded with a flurry of punches.
Palhares crumpled to the canvas, and the ref was forced to step in at 3:38 of the first round.
After back-to-back losses, Palhares is at a crossroads in his career. This is the first time he has ever faced consecutive defeats. It'll be interesting to see if the UFC gives him another shot or cuts him right away.
Fighters aren't jumping at the chance to have their knees wrecked by Palhares' dangerous leg locks. It's hard to erase the image of Tomasz Drwal tapping to a heel hook at UFC 107 and Palhares refusing to let go.
Palhares was apologetic after the incident and stated that he didn't feel Drwal tap. Unfortunately, the incident has hung a dark cloud over the Brazilian and made life a little tougher for UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.
If the UFC gives Palhares another shot, here are five fights to get him back on track.
Ed Herman was recently defeated by Jake Shields, but the fight was overturned and ruled a no-contest after Shields failed his post-fight drug test.
Before the bout, Herman was riding a three-fight win streak. A fight between Herman and Palhares would be beneficial for both sides.
Palhares would have an opportunity to get back on the winning track, and Herman would get another crack at a tough middleweight.
Grapplers tend to take a lot of heat from fans, but Palhares is the kind of Jiu-Jitsu practitioner who always keeps things interesting on the ground.
Riki Fukuda is a strong, durable wrestler with an incredible work ethic and a crafty top game. A fight with Palhares could be a fun bout from purely a stylistic perspective.
This would obviously be a major step up in competition for Fukuda, who is 2-2 in the UFC.
Francis Carmont is a potential middleweight superstar flying quietly under the radar.
He is currently riding a nine-fight win streak and coming off a close decision win over Tom Lawlor. A fight against Palhares would give Carmont a slight taste of upper-echelon opposition.
For Palhares, it would be a chance to save his job and prove his relevancy by defeating a tough opponent.
Mark Munoz should be looking to get back into the title conversation after being outclassed by Chris Weidman at UFC on FUEL 4.
If he hopes to climb back up the middleweight ladder, there can't be any throwaway fights.
A bout against Munoz would be a dangerous test for Palhares, but a win could help him stake his claim as a viable middleweight contender.
The hard part will be dealing with Munoz's strong top game. "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" has never been submitted in his MMA career.
The most intriguing bout for Palhares would be a showdown with former UFC middleweight champ Rich Franklin.
In his last seven fights, Franklin is a shocking 3-4.
The mileage is apparently beginning to catch up with the 38-year-old future Hall of Famer, as he seems to show a slight decline in every appearance.
This fight certainly makes sense as a potential last hurrah for Palhares, who is coming off two consecutive losses.