UFC on Fox 12 Results: 3 Fights for Bobby Green to Take Next
Bobby Green had a lot on his mind heading into UFC on Fox 12 Saturday but didn't let that deter him from picking up the biggest win of his career over Josh Thomson.
Green, still mourning his brother's passing, put on the performance of a lifetime against a legit top-five lightweight contender. Green stepped in on late notice for an injured Michael Johnson to face Thomson, and despite the winning streak Green was on, most fans pegged Thomson down for a win.
The fight ended up going to a split decision, but it's still a huge win for Green. Stepping in on late notice is tough for anyone, much less going up against the No. 3-ranked lightweight in the UFC. With the huge victory, Green will likely see himself shoot up the lightweight rankings and into another high-profile bout.
That fight is likely to be against any of the men on this list.
Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone is currently without an opponent following Khabib Nurmagomedov's knee injury. With Cerrone looking to fight six times in 2014, perhaps Bobby Green can help him achieve that goal.
Green didn't take a ton of damage in his fight with Josh Thomson, which could help him saddle up with Cowboy for the UFC 178 card Cerrone was originally planning on being a part of.
Cerrone is among the division's best strikers and would provide Green with a challenge on the mat as well, given Cerrone's submission abilities. Green has displayed solid striking skills of his own and has the grappling game to make for a solid overall skill set.
Green displayed some character in his fight with Thomson, taunting his opposition inside the cage. If that happens with Cerrone, you can bet the two won't have any more time to talk/taunt one another.
Winner of Benson Henderson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
Former UFC lightweight champ Benson Henderson and Rafael dos Anjos are set to square off on Aug. 23 in a battle of top lightweight contenders. The winner very may well be next in line for a title shot.
But if Henderson wins and Anthony Pettis retains his title against Gilbert Melendez in December, Henderson will likely continue to be in UFC purgatory given his two losses to Pettis. Bobby Green has more than earned a shot at a top guy like Henderson after taking out Josh Thomson on short notice.
It might be a huge step up for Green, but he's shown that he can hang with the division's best, so why not give him the chance to face the top guy in the division not wearing UFC gold?
If it's Dos Anjos who emerges victorious, he'll likely need to earn another win to warrant a title shot unless he comes out and demolishes Henderson. He built up an impressive winning streak but wound up losing to Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC on Fox 11 in April.
The Brazilian bounced back with a nice win over Jason High, but it'd be hard for the UFC to put RDA in a title fight after only being on a two-fight winning streak, even if one of those was over Henderson.
Facing Green would give Dos Anjos the chance to add another win to his new streak for his resume and would give Green the chance to face a top-five lightweight.
This fight seems to make the most sense in terms of matchups and timing. Bobby Green was only in the position that he was at UFC on Fox 12 due to the injury to Michael Johnson after all.
Depending on how long Johnson is out, it would make sense for Green to face Johnson in his next outing. Both guys are surging up the lightweight rankings and are among the most interesting prospects outside of the top contenders in the division.
The UFC may also be a bit cautious with placing Green in with another high-ranking fighter due to the close nature of Green's fight with Josh Thomson. The fight was close (indicative of the split-decision outcome), and it's not as if Green set the world on fire against a 35-year-old fighter.
Green was able to pull off an incredible upset and nobody can take that away from him, but it would be best for the UFC and Green if they took it slow with his career rather than shooting him up the ladder. Yes, Green has earned the right to face top guys after taking out Thomson, but it's also a huge jump in competition from what he's been facing.
A Johnson vs. Green fight would be perfect to determine who will keep their place in the top 10 of the lightweight division.