January's Key Fights
Mike Brown vs. Diego Nunes & Rani Yahya
After a roller coaster stretch in his career, Mike Brown was looking to get on track towards a rematch with Jose Aldo, but standing in his way was Aldo's training partner, Diego Nunes. In a back & forth affair, Brown swelled up Nunes' eye but ultimately fell short in two of the three judges' eyes.
Hoping to bounce back on with a short-notice fight, Brown accepted to fill the role left vacant by Chan Sung Jung, who was scheduled to face Rani Yahya.
Clearly, Brown had the striking advantage, but the crafty, deceptively strong Jiu Jitsu ace was able to shut Brown down and control the rhythm of the fight.
For the second fight in a row, Brown lost by decision and now finds himself outside of the top ten, looking in.
Dustin Poirier vs. Josh Grispi
Originally scheduled to fight for the featherweight championship against Jose Aldo, Josh Grispi decided to still fight once the champion was forced from the card from a lingering injury.
A big chance that gains lots of respect, but can severely hurt their run should they lose, which is exactly what happened to Grispi.
Dustin Poirier left the UFC jitters outside of the cage and systematically outworked Grispi in every aspect of the fight.
Even when Grispi found himself in top control, it didn't last long. In the end, Poirier earned his top ten spot with a clear-cut decision victory.
Mark Hominick vs. George Roop
Knowing what was at stake in a title shot against a dominant champion, Mark Hominick shined and put on a striking clinic against the lanky featherweight George Roop. Starting early, Hominick had Roop on the bicycle early with short, crisp punches with deadly accuracy.
Punches were landing left and right, eventually flooring the wobbled Roop for a final time, giving Hominick the TKO victory in the first round.
Up next for Hominick is the Brazilian wrecking machine, Jose Aldo. Many are already throwing Hominick's chances out the window, but with how he shined in a fight to earn the No. 1 contender slot, it's hard to doubt the Canadian, especially in his homeland.
February's Key Fights
Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa
Alpha Male prodigy Chad Mendes is looking to put his name in the bag of potential contenders with a victory over the UFC's other highly touted acquisition. Mendes will undoubtedly be receiving his toughest test to date as his brute wrestling matches up against the Judo of Michihiro Omigawa.
The past has shown that Judo usually loses that fight, but Omigawa has been one of the very few to take his Judo and modify it to better suit MMA.
Since finding his home at featherweight, Omigawa has been on a tear, taking out guys such as Marlon Sandro, Hatsu Hioki and LC Davis.
Noteworthy- Raphael Assuncao (15-3), Mike Brown (24-8), Leonard Garcia (15-6-1), Nam Phan (16-8)
10- Rani Yahya (16-6)
9- Michihiro Omigawa (12-8-1)
8- Urijah Faber (24-4)
7- Josh Grispi (14-2)
6- Dustin Poirier (9-1)
5- Manny Gamburyan (11-5)
4- Erik Koch (11-1)
3- Chad Mendes (9-0)
2- Diego Nunes (16-1)
1- Mark Hominick (20-8)
Champion- Jose Aldo Jr. (18-1)