UFC featherweights Cole Miller and Sam Sicilia kicked off the main card action at UFC Fight Night 35 Wednesday evening on Fox Sports 1.
Both fighters came into the bout on the heels of dominant victories, and a win would propel the night's victor toward top-15 status within the stacked 145-pound division.
Cole Miller stole that honor with a thunderous right hand that floored Sicilia in Round 2. After dropping his foe to the canvas, Miller pounced and slapped on a rear-naked choke that forced the tap just moments into the fight's second frame.
The win was emphatic for the American Top Team product, and it showed that he's ready to work his way toward the upper echelon of the featherweight class.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
We will remember Miller's dominance and Sicilia's inability to mount any offense.
Aside from his winging right hand, Sicilia had little to offer Miller in this fight. Miller picked him apart on the feet, smartly gauging his distance and choosing his shots.
Once he settled down and found his range, Miller started to unload power shots on Sicilia's dome, and he dropped and finished his opponent in short order.
What We Learned About Miller
Miller is comfortable as a featherweight, and he's developing into a contender.
After tooling Andy Ogle on the ground in his last matchup at UFC Fight Night 30, Miller showed off a solid striking game Wednesday against Sicilia.
If he can continue to develop this stand-up attack, he represents a dangerous matchup for anybody in the division.
What We Learned About Sicilia
Sicilia still has not added any weapons to his arsenal besides his powerful right hand.
He searched for the haymaker, one-shot finish throughout the bout, and when it failed, he had nothing to fall back on to pave the way to victory.
He needs to develop more skills to contend in the featherweight division or he will consistently fall short against more well-rounded combatants like Miller.
What's Next for Miller?
Miller called out Donald "Cowboy" "Clownboy"Cerrone in his post-fight interview inside the Octagon, but I still like a fight with Irish superstar Conor McGregor.
The lanky featherweight Miller has repeatedly called out and verbally abused McGregor in the past, and that fight makes sense for each man moving forward.
Let them hype the bout with their sharp tongues, and let the chaos ensue inside the cage.
If that doesn't suit you, the proposed matchup with Cerrone works for me, too.
What's Next for Sicilia?
Sicilia finds himself in a precarious position after the lopsided defeat Wednesday evening.
He will probably stick around for another fight, but the ice is ready to break should he falter again.
Give him Will Chope in a loser-leaves-town bout and see who deserves the spotlight under the banner of the world's most popular mixed martial arts promotion.