Well then. That didn't go very well.
After 18 months of waiting to get back into the Octagon, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira might as well have stayed home. In less than a minute on Saturday night in San Jose, California, he went from still in the mix at 38 years old to slumped on the canvas, an afterthought in the reinvention of Anthony Johnson.
It's hard to know what to offer the veteran in terms of a new opponent, as he's still ranked highly but is pretty clearly not the man he was in his prime. Here are a few possibilities:
Johnson's last victim didn't lose so explosively, but he's in a similar position to Nogueira: floating around the middle of the Top 10 with no particular mobility in any direction. From the perspective of the UFC, however, Phil Davis has a lot more years left to contend and the matchup is favorable to him, so the company might be into it.
On the flip side, if Nog Lite can best an athletic wrestler at this stage in the game, perhaps he's got more left than anyone believes. It's a low-risk, high-reward tilt for him when one considers how things went on Saturday and what the odds would be for him against Davis.
Nogueira is walking a similar path to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua these days as a warrior from Pride who's been great for a long time but may be getting close to the end of the road. They also fought back in those prime days with Rua coming out on top in an iconic war, and it's one that many have been keen to see again ever since.
The UFC has shared that enthusiasm, trying to book it a few times before having it derailed by injury. With neither man influencing much in the division these days, this is the exact type of bout that could bolster a pay-per-view late this year or headline a Fight Night card.
Glover Teixeira is coming off a loss to Jon Jones, but that shouldn't blemish anyone's resume considering the talents of the champ. That said, he needs a fight to get back into the swing of things, and Nogueira fits that bill.
Both men are in their 30s and have strong boxing foundations. Teixeira is perhaps more wrestler than jiu-jitsu ace, while Nogueira is the inverse, so any element of ground fighting that could take place would be an interesting viewing as well.
With most of the Top 10 at 205 either tied up, injured or otherwise unavailable, this is the type of combative marriage that could make a lot of sense.