At this time last year John Hathaway was the hottest welterweight prospect in the UFC holding an undefeated record that included wins over Rick Story and Diego Sanchez. Then Hathaway ran into tough and tested journeyman fighter Mike Pyle at UFC 120, and the hype train was quickly derailed after Pyle earned a unanimous decision victory.
Hathaway was able to rebound with a split decision victory over Kris McCray but he showed that he still has a long way to go before he is ready for the upper echelon of the UFC welterweight division.
Now Hathaway is set to take on always dangerous Matt Brown at UFC 138 and this will be his opportunity to prove that he is ready for that next step.
Brown is as tough as they come but he has never been knocked out he has been submitted eight times in his career.
Hathaway needs to bring the fight to Brown and utilize his wrestling and athleticism to get the fight to the ground where he can expose this glaring weakness.
It's the ability to expose a fighter's weakness that sets the good fighters apart from the great ones and Hathaway has to prove he can do that if he is ever going to be seen as a serious threat in the division.
Hathaway has all of the tools to be a star in the UFC now it's time to put it all together and make a statement to the rest of the division.
UFC gold may never be in Hathaway's future but he will show the world that he is ready for the challenge at UFC 138.