According to UFC President Dana White, lightweight Nate Diaz and welterweight Johny Hendricks, who will be battling in the main and co-main event of UFC on FOX 3 this weekend (May 5, 2012), will also have title shots on the line as well.
Their respective opponents, Jim Miller and Josh Koscheck? Not so much.
Here's what White had to say during a conference call with the media today, just three days before the big network event in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"Should Diaz win, Diaz is definitely getting a title shot. Should Miller win, Miller's probably going to be a fight or two away."
White would then confirm that Hendricks was in the exact situation with his upcoming fight against Josh Koscheck.
If you look at the history of all four fighters, it probably makes sense.
Diaz is currently 2-0 in his most recent stint in the UFC's lightweight division after dropping down from welterweight. After a first round submission of Takanori Gomi, he dominated Donald Cerrone at UFC 141, setting a record for strikes landed in a three round fight. His exciting style has fans talking and could definitely sell a title fight.
Miller on the other hand, while he's won eight of his nine fights, is just one fight removed from a dominant loss to current lightweight champion Ben Henderson. If Henderson is able to defend against Frankie Edgar later this year (someone Miller also holds a loss to), it would still be a tough sell that a different outcome would occur. If Miller wins, don't be surprised if Anthony Pettis gets the next title shot.
For Johny Hendricks, he's looked great in his UFC career, only losing once in late 2010 to Rick Story and he more than made up for that by stopping then-number two ranked welterweight Jon Fitch this past December. If he can do the same to Josh Koscheck, a perennial top five ranked UFC welterweight, his resume will speak for itself.
Koscheck, on the other hand is still just two fights removed from a failed title shot to Georges St. Pierre and he hasn't looked that great since returning from his severe orbital injury. He was losing the stand-up exchanges to Matt Hughes before coming back and then won a very controversial decision against Mike Pierce at UFC 143 this past February. If Koscheck wins, the likely next shot will go to the winner of the Martin Kampmann vs. Jake Ellenberger fight later this year.
Do you agree with Dana White's assessment, Maniacs?