UFC made it’s third ever trip to Mexico after an action packed second season of The Ultimate Fighter: Latin America. While a plethora of debuts were made to highlight the talent that was premiered on the show, several impactful fights took place leaving fans to wonder what could be next in the future.
Erik “Goyito” Perez vs. Felipe “Sertanejo” Arantes
Erik Perez finds himself back in the win column, though has intervalled between wins and losses in his last four fights. To how much that depletes Perez’ is up for debate however as Erik’s only two losses have come to two top ten fighters in Takeya Mizugaki and Bryan Caraway. Perez is still young and holds a a whole world of potential still and could very well become one of the best Bantamweights in the world years down the line. For now, he takes a sound unanimous decision victory home from Mexico. With his steadfast course in competition showing that time and development is needed, Perez should slow his pace in competition in order to let his skill set improve as well as prove he deserves to continue his journey with the UFC fairly. That should mean contesting with fellow rising stars and potential up and comers. Felipe Arantes himself looks to one day climb the ladder of his division but is also currently fixed success as of now intervalling between wins and losses in his last four bouts in the Octagon. This bout will serve as a stern test for both men, and may possibly showcase the future of the ever-developing UFC’s bantamweight division.
Henry Cejudo vs. Demetrious Johnson
Henry Cejudo etched another victory into his resume Saturday night against a highly talented Jussier Formiga. Highlighting his overall skill set, Cejudonow moves to 4-0 under the UFC and 10-0 overall. Formiga was however able to make it a competitive fight, as have a couple other opponents lately with Cejudo, leaving many to wonder if Cejudo is truly ready for a title fight with one of, if not, the MMA pound for pound king in Demetrious “Might Mouse” Johnson. Although, with no other credible contender to debate said point, Cejudo seems primed to face the champion next whether you like it or not. Regardless of any doubt either with fans or media, Cejudo does present a challenge to Johnson that he has yet to face inside the Octagon which makes for a intriguing match-up, no matter the odds.
Ricardo “The Bully” Lamas vs. Renan Barao
Lamas returned from disheartening loss to Chad Mendes to dominate a well-fought bout against an always aggressive Diego Sanchez. Diego is so difficult to fight that even trying to to damage to him can be dangerous, as certain points throughout the fight, Lamas seemingly injured himself while landing strikes on the manic veteran. Lamas however kept composure throughout the fight and managed to not get blindsided by the judges in the process. Lamas has only lost to two fighters in the UFC, Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. Certainly not a stable of losses to hang your head about. Lamas continues to stay a dangerous and relevant contender at 145 lbs and stringing victories will surely manage him another possible title shot in the future. Lamas has struggled only against the fighters in the world, a hump that at this point in his career, he needs to get over in order to solidly his placement among the featherweights best. Taking on the former bantamweight champion in Renan Barao is as big a statement as he can possibly make right now. Barao announced earlier this year his intentions of moving up in weight and joining the ranks of the featherweight roster. Barao certainly doesn’t have it made any easier in his new weight class, as a potential bout with Lamas would be sure to prove.
Neil Magny vs. Matt “The Immortal” Brown
Neil Magny shook the welterweight division up when he came into Monterrey on two weeks notice and defeated one of the fastest rising up and coming prospects at 170 lbs. in Kelvin Gastelum in one of the more competitive match-ups we have seen this year in the division. Across the span of 25 minutes, Magny utilized his size and reach advantage to stifle the former TUF champ and also dominated early with his aggressive scrambles and offensive transitions that kept Kelvin on the defensive for the opening three rounds of the fight. Kelvin however managed to keep pressure on Magny throughout the whole fight, even stealing the momentum away in the bouts most controversial round as he dropped Magny twice, leaving many to ponder whether or not Gastelum had just scored a 10-8 round. While Gastelum kept his working offense going, it was not enough to sway enough judges to his cause and Magny was awarded the victory. Magny wins his third fight of the year out of four bouts, dropping one only to former title contender and No. 6 ranked Demian Maia. Magny now sets up 2016 pleasantly as he has now cemented himself as the welterweight divisions dark horse. Since Gastelum was initially scheduled to face the always exciting Matt Brown for this fight before Brown suffered a minor injury that dropped him from the headliner, Brown makes for a perfect candidate to face Magny in the opening season of 2016. This bout pits two of the most game fighters in the world today, in a bout that is sure to deliver in fireworks as it will in aggression and skill.