Lucas Martins was overwhelmed in his UFC debut, facing one of the lightweight’s toughest draws in Edson Barboza, but has bounced back nicely since the initial stumble with two straight finishes including his 70-second submission of Ramiro Hernandez at UFC Fight Night 28. He’s only 24, so the UFC would be wise to bring him along slowly. Potential options for his next pairing could be Danny Castillo and Daron Cruickshank. Ali Bagautinov looked impressive in his UFC debut by finishing off Marcos Vinicius. With nine straight wins in the rear-view mirror, Bagautinov could be plugged into nearly any match-up at flyweight and it would work. Possibilities include Ian McCall or the winner of upcoming bouts between Chris Cariaso-Illiarde Santos and John Lineker-Phil Harris. After dealing with a flurry of offense in the opening round including some brutal kicks to the body, Polish finisher Piotr Hallman battled back to take advantage of a winded Francisco Trinaldo and scored a submission win. Though he’s won ten consecutive tilts and stopped all but one of the foes he’s beaten, there’s no reason to throw Hallman to the lions. Match-ups with Roger Bowling, Thiago Tavares, or Al Iaquinta would make sense. Since Duane Ludwig showed up at Team Alpha Male the squad has gone 17-0. The gym’s latest instance of success came thanks to Joseph Benavidez who beat former #1 flyweight Jussier Formiga down with relative ease. Without a doubt his next bout should involve divisional gold and the chance to avenge a Split Decision defeat to champ Demetrious Johnson. Fans were always aware of Ronaldo Souza’s sublime skill on the mat. However, until last night, few realized how powerful “Jacare” was. That changed with Souza’s stoppage of the always-game Yushin Okami in the opening round of action. With the middleweight title tied up, and most of the 185ers worthy of Souza’s time busy, chances are Souza will have to wait for fights to unfold between the likes of Costa Philippou-Francis Carmont, Mark Munoz-Michael Bisping, and Luke Rockhold-Tim Boetsch before having a better idea of who his next opponent might be. With twenty straight instances of success including five wins in the UFC, Glover Teixeira has gone from a heavily-hyped fighter to a man who deserves a title-shot. Luckily, UFC President Dana White agrees with said sentiment, and has announced Teixeira’s next adversary will emerge when light heavyweight champ Jon Jones defends his strap against Alexander Gustafsson later this month.
Last night the Octagon made a stop in Brazil where blood was spilled, consciousness faded, and title-shots were earned thanks to the lineup for
. Though many of the evening’s top performances came from regional studs still making a name for themselves amongst international fans, some of the main players also produced impressive results. Here’s a look at what could/should be next for some of the show’s brightest stars including UFC Fight Night 28 Joseph Benavidez, Ronaldo Souza, and Glover Teixeira… (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)