Liz Carmouche very nearly shocked the world on Saturday night in Anaheim, climbing onto Ronda Rousey's back and slapping on a particularly violent neck crank.
Unfortunately for the former Marine, Rousey hung on long enough to shake her off and hit one of her signature armbars only moments later, making herself official as the UFC women's bantamweight champion.
It's back to the drawing board for Carmouche, though, one of the most fearless, most game ladies presently competing in MMA. These could be some of her options.
Why not go from one Olympian to another?
McMann is a former Olympic medallist in wrestling and recently signed with the UFC. She's undefeated and is being pegged by many as the only true test out there for Rousey, given her similar credentials and level of experience.
Carmouche is the better striker and is likely the more ferocious, but as UFC 157 showed, that's not always enough. It is, however, enough to provide some excitement, which is reason enough to book this one.
In a thin division where there's more talent in the top half than the bottom, there are only so many options for fighters looking for opponents. The second women's fight in UFC history is set to happen in April between Zingano and Tate, and the winner is likely next up for Rousey.
Pair Carmouche with the loser, as either one will produce fireworks. Both Zingano and Tate are scrappy and entertaining, but are stylistically quite different. Regardless of the outcome when they meet, neither is a bad option for Carmouche the next time she enters the Octagon.
Kedzie is a pioneer in women's MMA, a lady who's fought people you've never heard of in places you didn't know existed just to make a go of it in the sport. It's time for her to be rewarded for that with a UFC contract and a fight of some stature.
Make no mistake, though, this is no charity signing.
Kedzie has serious skill in the cage and gave Tate all she could handle in their fight last summer. She's also been in there with other big names in the sport and done well, so a fight with Carmouche makes sense.
Baszler is a grappling whiz who has been around the sport forever and has fought names like McMann, Sarah Kaufman, Cris Cyborg and Alexis Davis—only to name a few. To put it mildly, there's no one the UFC could find who is more seasoned and more deserving of a chance in their women's division.
A fight with Carmouche would be wildly entertaining, as the pure fighter in Carmouche would be coming up against the gritty, tactical veteran. There's a lot to like in the matchup if the UFC were to get Baszler under contract.
It's fairly puzzling that the UFC hasn't already signed Kaufman, the best women's bantamweight in the world before the Tate/Rousey feud of 2011-12 took place. Her next appearance is on a card for Invicta in April, though, meaning that she may be free to become a UFC employee soon after.
If that happens, there's no better person to welcome her than Carmouche. Two women who absolutely love to stand and trade, both of whom have lethal ground-and-pound, is the exact recipe for entertainment that will bring eyes to the newest component of the UFC.