When it was announced that Chris Cariaso would be getting the next title shot in the flyweight division, many were surprised—and rightfully so. There were several fighters close to a title shot who were to fight soon, including John Lineker and both Jussier Formiga and Zach Makovsky, who faced off Saturday night.
For the first two rounds of their fight, Formiga exhibited control on the ground, taking Makovsky's back several times and attempting a rear-naked choke in the second round.
The third round was very different, though, as Makovsky ended up on top of Formiga and was able to keep his control throughout the round. Formiga didn't do much of anything in the third round, and Makovsky easily took it.
However, it was too little too late. Formiga would win the fight by unanimous decision, with scores of 29-28 from all three judges.
Formiga is now the highest-ranked fighter in the flyweight division who hasn't already been beaten by the champion, Demetrious Johnson. After Johnson fights Cariaso, Formiga will probably be the next one to get a title shot. Unfortunately for him, he's not even close to ready for it.
In the UFC, Formiga is 3-2. His wins have come against Scott Jorgensen, Makovsky and Cariaso. His losses have come against No. 1-ranked John Dodson and No. 2-ranked Joseph Benavidez. If he wasn't able to get past Nos. 1 and 2 in the division, how is he going to have any chance against the champion?
In addition, back in 2011 while fighting for the Tachi Palace Fights organization, Formiga lost to Ian McCall, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the division.
Formiga wasn't overly impressive Saturday against the No. 9-ranked fighter in the division. Throughout the first two rounds, he was able to take Makovsky's back several times, and he worked for submissions, but that was about it.
Formiga spent the majority of the third round on his back, and he was either coasting, knowing he had won the first two, or he was too tired to do anything else.
Either way, if he couldn't go full speed against Zach Makovsky for 15 minutes, there's no way he would be able to last 25 minutes against the top flyweight in the world.