Here's a fight that had a little bit of everything.
And I don't mean striking, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu, though all three were present in the main event showdown between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes at last night's (Sat., Oct. 25, 2014) UFC 179 pay-per-view (PPV) event inside Maracanazinho Gymnasium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (full results here).
I'm talking eye pokes, kicks to the groin, and punches after the bell.
When all was said and done, "Junior" was able to squeak by with a unanimous decision win, but expect the mixed martial arts (MMA) community to keep the discussion going for the next several weeks, as the fight could have been handed to either man after 25-minutes of back-and-forth action.
But it wasn't.
That means "Money" heads to the back of the line and the champion ... well, that's where things get a little more complicated. When UFC announced it was sending Conor McGregor to Brazil, it seemed pretty clear that he was poised to challenge the winner.
Especially when UFC President Dana White said, "Yeah, he's next."
Then seemingly out of nowhere, the "Notorious" trash talker was paired off against middling flyweight striker Dennis Siver, in a fight that takes place next January and will likely compel Aldo to compete once more before we can start dreaming of stadium events in Ireland.
With him out of the way, the lane is once again cleared for longtime contender Cub Swanson, who has been trying his damnedest to get another crack at Aldo, after the Brazilian left him fetal him back in 2009. While it's not exactly a fight that tops every fan's wish list, he has earned it, and can seal the deal with his seventh straight win against Frankie Edgar next month in Texas.
But if "The Answer" prevails?
Edgar also fought Aldo to a close unanimous decision -- and lost -- when they tangled at UFC 156 in early 2013. But I'm not sure anyone is clamoring to see them bob and weave for another 25 minutes. Dennis Bermudez is riding a torrid seven-fight winning streak, but doesn't hold a win over a current top 10 fighter (for now). Personally, I wouldn't be opposed to another dance with Mendes, but good luck getting "Junior" to sign on that dotted line.
The right fight is McGregor, but it was teased and taken.
The good news is, both Aldo and his Irish nemesis are facing fights that sway heavily in their favor, so while it's a gamble to send them off their separate ways for the next few weeks, it's a relative safe bet they'll circle back around early next spring.