UFC Fight Night 30 Results: What's Next for the Winners
UFC Fight Night 30 featured 12 fights, but only 11 winners—the oddity being a result of the no-decision ruling in the card's co-main event between Ross Pearson and Melvin Guillard.
That irregularity aside, 11 fighters were able to take a step forward in their careers. Some took large steps and others small, but each walked away with an all-important W.
Here we'll take a look at what victory means to each winner from UFC Fight Night 30 and forecast where they go from here.
The night's first victor was Englishman Brad Scott, who finished opponent Michael Kuiper in the first round.
More than the finish, Scott looked sharp on his feet, outstriking Kuiper and then bullying him around the Octagon before slapping on the fight-ending choke.
But the highlight was Scott's post-fight interview with Joe Rogan—he's a comic, ladies and gentlemen. He didn't even know the name of the choke he won with. Outrageous!
Although it was as good a performance as he could have hoped for, don't expect it to vault him too far up the ladder. Instead, expect The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes alumnus to fight on Facebook at least once more—and against a relatively unknown guy at least once more—before he is offered a more fruitful proposition.
Hettes rebounded nicely from his loss to Marcus Brimage at UFC Fight Night 30. His ground game looked as sharp as ever, allowing him to notch yet another submission win.
Problem is, we already knew he has sensational grappling ability. He didn't show anything in the fight to suggest his stand-up is catching up to his ground skills.
I wouldn't be shocked to see the UFC ease him into higher competition by giving him a chance to develop his tool kit before he takes on a big name.
Don't get me wrong, he is a talented guy. I just want to see him put together a more rounded attack before he is paired with a contender, and I think that what the stance of the UFC will be.
Can you believe Cole Miller has fought in the UFC 15 times?
He's flown under the radar for much of his career, finding a niche somewhere above the bottom but below contention. His win over Andy Ogle keeps him in that range more than it changes anything.
After saying European fighters can't beat him during his post-fight interview and then sprinting out of the cage under a barrage of boos, Miller will likely be fighting a European next. But maybe he's not high profile enough for the UFC to remember the boast come matchmaking time? We'll see.
He wants Conor McGregor, but that might not happen for a while.
I felt silly after picking Andrade to upset Liz Carmouche at UFC on Fox 8, but at UFC Fight Night 30, the Brazilian showed she is a force to be reckoned with.
She laid a brutal beating on a tough foe in Rosi Sexton. It was an impressive showing especially because she did her damage standing when she is primarily a ground fighter.
Andrade officially becomes a prospect with this win. The question is, with the UFC's women's bantamweight division still sparsely populated, does she get a top-level opponent or a tune up to build a bigger name in her next outing?
Given the limited options, what's the point in waiting? Expect the UFC to pair her up with a tough opponent next.
If Cat Zingano is ready before too long, she would be perfect. If Alexis Davis loses to Carmouche in November, it could be Davis. Otherwise, Germaine de Randamie works.
Barnatt flashed some real potential on TUF, and if Saturday night was any indication, he may have begun to convert that potential into talent.
Saturday marked a signature win for the tall Brit, who becomes the first man to finish Andrew Craig inside the distance.
Now I'd like to see how Barnatt deals with an opponent who threatens him with takedowns. Tom Lawlor or C.B. Dollaway would make sense.
Since losing to Michael Chiesa in his first UFC fight, Iaquinta has passed two stiff tests.
The UFC might as well keep the gradient progression going and pair him up with someone a little bit more accomplished than Piotr Hallmann, though not necessarily someone in contention.
I submit John Makdessi as a potential next opponent. The pairing would make for an entertaining show that would hold meaning for both combatants.
The flyweight division is very stratified. There is a clearly defined upper echelon, and then there is everyone else. Lineker is a rare example of a fighter straddling the two groups.
Is he in the same league as Demetrious Johnson, Joseph Benavidez, Ian McCall, John Dodson and John Moraga? He's clearly better than the rest of the field.
But in order to join the top level, he needs to beat a representative of it. After four straight wins, it's time for him to be given that opportunity.
Right now, Moraga makes the most sense for Lineker.
Will Musoke be the next Swede to emerge as a UFC contender? I'll need more from him than a win over Alessio Sakara before proclaiming that, but he's off to a nice start.
He showed some real talent at UFC Fight Night 30, flashing crisp strikes, displaying an admirable capacity to sustain damage and demonstrating a slick submission game.
"Niko" is a natural 170-pound fighter, so it's uncertain where his next fight will come. If he decides to stay at middleweight, let's see if he can stand up against Tom Watson.
If Musoke drops back to welterweight, how about Dan Miller?
Parke's win was a good one. It firmed up his status as an up-and-comer and put him at 3-0 in the UFC.
Still, he is without a signature win at this point. At least now he is ready to take a stab at gaining one. Hopefully next time he competes, it will be against a more recognizable opponent.
I'd like to see him step up against Pat Healy, assuming he gets past Jamie Varner next month. It would be a big step up for Parke but a big opportunity as well.
Well, I'm convinced Manuwa is a legitimate UFC-caliber fighter. How could I not be after the guy goes 3-0? Granted, two of his wins have come via injury, but it isn't as if he was losing in either fight.
The point is, he has nothing left to prove in terms of whether or not he belongs on the big stage. Now it's time for him to prove he belongs in the division's upper echelon.
In terms of a matchup, how about the winner of Mauricio Rua vs. James Te Huna, which is scheduled for December? Either guy would make a heck of a dance partner for Manuwa and represents a step upward at 205.
Everything went to script for Machida at UFC Fight Night 30. First, the drop from 205 to 185 went off without a hitch, and then he turned in a vintage Machida performance by winning in impressive fashion.
But there is still work to be done. It's not impossible that he will fight Chris Weidman next, regardless of whether the champ wins or loses to Anderson Silva in December. However, "The Dragon" may need to notch another W before he garners a shot at the middleweight strap.
If that is the case, a fight with Ronaldo Souza makes sense. "Jacare" is cruising toward a title shot, so Machida vs. Souza would function as a worthy title eliminator. Plus, stylistically, the pairing would make for an intriguing tactical showdown.
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