By Rick LaFitte @RickLaFitte on August 31, 2014
For an event that received plenty of flak for a lack of star power, UFC 177 in Sacramento ended up delivering in the end. The main card produced four finishes, including a highlight-reel stoppage by T.J. Dillashaw of gutsy challenger Joe Soto in their unlikely bantamweight title fight. Bethe Correia and Yancy Medeiros also turned in impressive efforts. Here are the Top 5 fights to make in the wake of UFC 177.
Soto gave a very determined effort in his UFC debut before succumbing to a vicious head kick in the fifth round against bantamweight champion T.J. Dillashaw. His stock rose despite the setback, and he deserves a top-15 opponent in his next fight. Jabouin would fit that bill. The veteran is coming off a decision win over Mike Easton at UFC 174. His diverse striking style and Soto’s aggression would make for an entertaining clash.
Medeiros showcased a very unique reverse bulldog choke submission to hand Damon Martin his first career loss. The talented Hawaiian seems to be adding some new wrinkles to his game, and a matchup against Trujillo would be a clash of two exciting strikers. Trujillo has seen the injury bug scuttle potential matchups against Myles Jury and Ross Pearson since his brutal KO victory over Jamie Varner at UFC 169. This would make for an explosive affair.
Ferguson earned an unpopular split-decision verdict over hometown fighter Danny Castillo in what was an extremely close lightweight battle. Ferguson was forced to be active off his back against the solid wrestler in an entertaining bout that featured plenty of scrambles. “El Cucuy” is now 6-1 in his UFC career, and a matchup against the winner of the UFC 178 clash on Sept. 27 between Masvidal and Krause would be a solid next step.
Correira continued her vendetta against the “Four Horsewomen” by stopping Shayna Baszler in brutal fashion. “Pitbull” has gotten the attention of women’s champ Ronda Rousey, who wants to fight her. The UFC superstar wants revenge after seeing two close friends lose in lopsided fashion to the Brazilian. Correia isn't quite ready for that just yet. Having her face the winner of the Miesha Tate/Rin Nakai matchup at FIght Night 52 makes sense.
This one has a stipulation to it. If Assuncao earns a seventh straight win against Bryan Caraway on Oct. 4, he deserves the next shot. He’s the last man to defeat the current champion as he recorded a split-decision win over Dillashaw at Fight Night 29 in Brazil. If Assuncao falters, then Dillashaw should make his next defense against either the former champion Cruz, or the surging Japanese contender Mizugaki. They are set to meet at UFC 178.
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