Hatsu Hioki turned down a title fight against featherweight champ Jose Aldo in order to develop with more fights inside the UFC octagon. Turns out he really needs that opportunity to learn more than he might have originally realized.
After Hioki took the first round with top control, Lamas took control in the latter rounds with diverse striking and excruciatingly close guillotine choke attempts. Hioki showed resilience and poise in escaping the chokes, but the Lamas offense was ultimately too much for Hioki to overcome.
Hioki clearly remains one of the division’s top fighters but the loss shows the true depth of the division. Also approaching the rankings are Charles Oliveira and recent foes of Lamas in Cub Swanson and Yuri Alcantara. Expect the shake-ups to continue.
1. Jose Aldo – UFC featherweight champion
2. Chad Mendes – Former UFC title challenger
3. Pat Curran – Bellator featherweight champion
4. Chan Sung Jung – UFC contender
5. Patricio Freire – Bellator tournament winner
6. Erik Koch – UFC contender
7. Ricardo Lamas – UFC contender
8. Hatsu Hioki – UFC contender
9. Dustin Poirier – UFC contender
10. Daniel Straus – Bellator tournament winner