The preliminary bouts at UFC 172 featured three particularly impressive performances.
The contests that precede the main card often offer fans a preview of fighters who have a chance to make a name for themselves down the road.
The winners of the aforementioned bouts have taken a step in the right direction.
Chris "The Real Deal" Beal
Beal got the night started off the right way. His flying knee finish in the second round against Patrick Williams was superb.
Per the UFC's Twitter account, Beal said the spectacular finish was part of the master plan:
The "Real Deal" made quite an impression in his UFC debut. He improved to 9-0 with the third knockout of his career.
When newcomers fight on the UFC Fight Pass, explosive victories are the best way to climb up the ladder for future cards.
The 28-year-old bantamweight has a long way to go before he can enter the title picture at 135 pounds, but he grabbed some attention with this win.
Bethe "The Pitbull" Correia
There's room for another prime contender in the women's bantamweight division. Why can't it be Correia? The 5'4", 30-year-old Brazilian spark plug outslugged Jessamyn Duke on Saturday to win a unanimous decision.
Correia mixed in a steady diet of leg kicks and combinations with her hands.
She even showed us a spinning elbow. The UFC Twitter account likened it to the star of the main event:
Correia may not be ready to take on Ronda Rousey, but she at least looks like a fighter who can give other contenders a run.
Benavidez has already had one run as a premier flyweight in the UFC. After Saturday's submission win over Timothy Elliott, Benavidez is ready to get back in the title picture.
Elliott showed some solid grappling skills to get Benavidez to the mat. But once they got there, Benavidez was able to transition to an advantageous position.
Benavidez's guillotine finish sent fans into the main card in style.
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