UFC on Fox 8: 5 Fights for Robbie Lawler to Take Next
Between the outstanding showing from Demetrious Johnson and the appalling dud between Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald, fight fans have plenty to talk about after UFC on Fox 8.
One performance that should not be overlooked came from Robbie Lawler.
He appeared to be in tremendous shape from the opening bell. With excellent timing, the former Elite XC champion scored a knockout victory only 24 ticks into the second frame.
With this victory, Lawler is 2-0 since returning to the UFC welterweight division. As the No. 9 contender to Georges St-Pierre's championship, the next booking for "Ruthless" could determine whether or not he contends for gold in 2014.
Here is a look at five fights for Lawler to take next.
Current Ranking: No. 8
Tarec Saffiedine was originally scheduled to make his UFC debut against Lawler at UFC on Fox 8 before an injury forced him from the card. Since he is a fellow ranked welterweight, there is every reason to reschedule the initial booking.
Dong Hyun Kim
Current Ranking: Unranked
The welterweight division is rich with talent, and that is not limited to those who are officially ranked by the UFC. Sitting just outside of the Top 10 is Korean judo master Dong Hyun Kim.
He has worked hard to ensure the growth of his striking game, but positional grappling is "Stun Gun's" strongest attribute. This matchup would show us whether or not Lawler is capable of hanging with the non-strikers who dominate the top of the welterweight food chain.
Current Ranking: No. 4
Jake Ellenberger lost in a weird way on Saturday night. As if trying to earn a nomination for Worst Fight of 2013, he and Rory MacDonald did a whole lot of nothing for most of their matchup.
Ellenberger was ranked as the No. 4 contender prior to the fight. Expect him to slip closer down to Lawler when the new list is published on Monday.
Winner of Mike Pyle vs. Matt Brown
Current Ranking: Unranked
When Mike Pyle and Matt Brown collide at UFC Fight Night 26, they will be carrying a freight train of momentum behind them. In fact, since the start of 2012, this dangerous duo holds a combined record of 9-0 inside the Octagon.
Whoever comes out victorious in the battle (which promises to be epic), is more than deserving of a matchup against a ranked foe like Lawler.
Current Ranking: No. 5
Demian Maia is currently holding an unblemished record of 3-0 since dropping down to welterweight. As a dark-horse candidate for the welterweight championship, a stylistic battle with Lawler could prove to be an interesting challenge for both men.
Maia is one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners on the planet. However, Lawler has the kind of one-punch power that could ravage any man in the division. The winner of this matchup could challenge for gold in 2014.