Donald Cerrone smashed Jim Miller via "Cowboy" head kick in the headlining affair of the UFC Fight Night 45 mixed martial arts (MMA) event, which took place on FOX Sports 1 last Wednesday night (July 16, 2014) inside Revel Resorts in Atlantic City, New Jersey (full results here).
The toe-to-dome knockout marked his fourth win in a row -- and fourth finish -- since coming up lame against Rafael dos Anjos last year in Indianapolis. Despite his torrid winning streak, a pair of losses to former lightweight champion Ben Henderson -- as well as a recent one to reigning division kingpin Anthony Pettis -- stymies his chances of jumping right into a title fight.
Not that it matters.
"Showtime" is currently filming The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 20 opposite Gilbert Melendez and they won't face off until next January. Assuming the winner has a quick turnaround, a follow-up title defense is probably on the shelf until at least spring of 2015.
That's a lonnnnnnng time to wait.
In addition, Henderson and Dos Anjos collide in the main event of UFC Fight Night 49 next month in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the winner -- whoever it may be -- isn't going to be in any big hurry to give Cerrone (24-6) a rematch and risk their spot in line.
Enter Khabib Nurmagomedov.
"The Eagle" (22-0) took himself out of action during Ramadan, but expects to make his Octagon return in September. While he's currently ranked above "Cowboy" in the promotion's official rankings (see them here), he's also realistic about the timeline for title shots.
While this writer would prefer to see Cerrone throw down against Josh Thomson, "The Punk" still has to get through Bobby Green next week on FOX, and I'm not sure beating the former Strikeforce champ would get Cerrone a crack at the crown, whereas becoming the first fighter to defeat Nurmagomedov would likely guarantee it.
Then there's Myles Jury, who is also undefeated, but he doesn't compete again until September, when "The Fury" tries to upend Takanori Gomi in Japan. That would also put Cerrone on ice until the end of the year and that's not his style. He likes to fight and more importantly, make money.
Your move, Mr. Silva.