It was another "controversial" victory for Ben Henderson, even though he is becoming a familiar face for the viewers of FOX's Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events.
At UFC on FOX 10: "Henderson vs. Thomson," which took place last night (Sat., Jan. 25) at United Center in Chicago, Ill., "Bendo" beat Josh Thomson via split decision, a ruling that was widely talked about on many mixed martial arts (MMA) media platforms.
Apart from the fact that Thomson may have a bone to pick with controversial judge Sal D'Amato, his title shot slips out of his hands and now and possible retirement looms for "The Punk."
Meanwhile, Stipe Miocic climbed the heavyweight ranks with his win over Gabriel Gonzaga in the co-main event, battering the Brazilian veteran more and more as the fight progressed.
"Knockout of the Night" winner Donald Cerrone made quick of Adriano Martins, clocking him with a flush head kick 20 seconds short of the end of round one.
Finally, the gritty Jeremy Stephens secured the first main card win out of the four fighters in question, winning a unanimous decision victory over Darren Elkins.
Indeed, after every fight card, MMA fans are already thinking about what the future holds for the stars of the show. With another night of action-packed fights, let's peer into our crystal ball and predict possible matchmaking scenarios.
Here are our next matches to make:
Winner: Jeremy Stephens
Who He Should Fight Next: Dustin Poirier
Why They Should Fight: Simply put, it makes sense right now.
Poirier is coming off of a big win over Diego Brandao at UFC 168, and after Stephens showed that he could outlast an opponent who is good on the ground and on the feet, why not match him up with someone who has looked outstanding lately to elevate himself further?
Some seem to forget that "Lil' Heathen" has been under contract with the UFC since mid-2007, making his Octagon debut at UFC 71. Stephens has had some good wins, and on the flip side, has had some lackluster performances throughout his near seven-year tenure with the promotion.
There is no need to pit him in any sort of contendership scenarios. The best thing to do is find him another tough fight with which he can improve his win streak. Therefore, matching him up with another fringe contender like "Diamond" seems like the best option to determine whether or not he is a legit threat or just another pretender.
Winner: Donald Cerrone
Who He Should Fight Next: Edson Barboza
Why They Should Fight: When Cerrone is on, he looks like he could beat anyone in the world.
However, Adriano Martins was looking to be a tough test for "Cowboy," since the latter really did not have a grappling advantage whatsoever. Opting to keep it on the feet, Cerrone laced Martins with a head kick and proved that he can finish a fight anywhere ... and that he is a talented striker, too.
Another head kick aficionado? Edson Barboza.
Don't kid yourself -- Barboza, who is currently on a three-fight win streak -- was almost finished by Danny Castillo at UFC on FOX 9. And Jamie Varner showed the world you can pretty much beat anyone on any given night.
The thing is, with Cerrone, you never really know which guy is going to show up. This fight would be damn interesting to watch.
Also, there was the Barboza call out of Nate Diaz, Jim Miller and Cerrone himself. That should be enough reasoning here.
Winner: Stipe Miocic
Who He Should Fight Next: Mark Hunt
Why They Should Fight: It has been twice now that Miocic used his superior boxing skills, landing combo after combo to wear down his opponent.
Now improving to 11-1 with his win over Gabriel Gonzaga last night, it's time for a step up in competition.
Hunt, the gritty veteran who participated in a war for the ages at UFC Fight Night 33 with Antonio Silva, needs to take the sour taste out of his mouth based on the way things turned out weeks after that epic brawl.
Miocic has done well against fighters who are primarily strikers, and if he could outdo "The Super Samoan," he will start to raise a few eyebrows when it comes to his rise in contention.
Having won two straight since his setback against Stefan Struve, it is a good opportunity for the Ohio-based athlete to escalate into where he wants to be.
You can never count out Hunt when it comes to surprises, either.
Winner: Ben Henderson
Who He Should Fight Next: Gilbert Melendez
Why They Should Fight: Not only was their fight at UFC on FOX 7 was so closely disputed by just about nearly everyone, why not summon another five round fight between possibly the best two lightweights in the division who aren't named Anthony Pettis?
It is mildly possible that the brass grants Henderson a rubber match with Pettis upon the champion's return, but if we could make sense out of the fact that "Smooth" has lost to Pettis twice, we come up with a better scrap for him that makes sense on all accounts.
It would leave no doubt in anyone's mind this time around (unless it's another ultra-thin ruling), establishing a clear No. 1 contender for Pettis later this summer.
With Thomson losing his title bout, and Khabib Nurmagomedov alongside Nate Diaz trying to reach an agreement, forget Melendez when it comes to "The Eagle."
The former Strikeforce Lightweight champion has proved his worth, and it's enough for him to rise up to the occasion once again.
For complete coverage of UFC on FOX 10: "Henderson vs. Thomson" check out our story stream here.