UFC 127 was a night of good business for the UFC's international expansion division, it was also a night that saw three potential contenders derailed. It takes years to build up a title run in the UFC, but only minutes to see it die.
Aussie George Sotiropoulos had been on an eight fight winning streak in the UFC, looking to tie the record with nine straight. He'd been told by Dana White that he was in line for a title shot with one more win. After a unanimous decision loss to Dennis Siver last night, Sotiropoulos is going back to the drawing board.
Siver, now riding a three fight streak of his own, doesn't replace Sotiropoulos as a title contender. But that's fine, the UFC is not short of title contenders at lightweight. In fact, with Gray Maynard, Jim Miller, Melvin Guillard, Anthony Pettis and Clay Guida all out there clamoring for the belt, it's helpful for the UFC to eliminate a contender.
Sotiropoulos has an excellent chance of rebounding and putting together another run but nothing is guaranteed, especially when a fighter is on the north side of 30.
For Chris Lytle, who had been hoping to prove himself against Top 10 competition and go on a long-awaited title run. Originally booked to face #6 Carlos Condit, the #14 Lytle (all rankings from the USAT/SBN Consensus MMA Rankings) instead found himself going in against veteran journeyman Brian Ebersole.
Lytle had absolutely nothing to gain from a win over the UFC debutante Ebersole. And he didn't win. Ebersole thoroughly dominated Lytle for three rounds to pick up the decision. The loss broke Lytle's four fight win streak and sends him back to the drawing board.
It seems unlikely now that Lytle will ever muster a UFC title run.
His opponent Jon Fitch also has to defer the dream.
But thanks to the eccentric Australian judging, Penn and Fitch have merely had their dreams deferred, not derailed.