Just a couple days from UFC Fight Night 36, two names have been thrown around on a consistent basis — Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo Souza. Both seem to have their eyes set on title shots as they enter the Octagon on Saturday, with a win possibly linking them into at least a title-eliminator. Francis Carmont has been forced to look at the action from the outside.
Coming into his bout with Souza, Carmont is riding a six-fight UFC winning streak and has not lost since April 19, 2008. The opponent he lost to was Luke Rockhold in a Strikeforce middleweight title bout.
Though Carmont has the most consecutive wins to date among the four individuals competing in the main event and co-main event, he seems to be the least likely to be considered for a title shot in victory. Limitless does not always win his fights in impressive fashion, but he still wins. His last two victories against Costas Philippou and Lorenz Larkin were won by decision. The last time Carmont finished an opponent was in July 2012, when he submitted Karlos Vemola.
Going into his bout with Souza, Carmont will not be the odds on favorite to win the fight. Souza is a talented submission fighter, and Carmont seems to be comfortable taking the fight to the ground. To win the fight, Limitless will need to keep the fight standing, which is also a dangerous position to be in. It’s almost a given that if Souza defeats Carmont, he will be in title contention. The same goes for Machida in his bout.
Carmont will not be granted the same luxury in victory. Chances are Carmont will at least have to prove himself one or two more times before matchmakers start considering him as a title contender (similar to Chris Weidman‘s situation with Anderson Silva).