Following the second of the UFC's doubleheader events in Stockholm and Halifax, which featured 12 of the 23 fights that took place within that 14 hour period, several fights stood out as contests with potential title implications. Others appeared to catapult their respective winners into better positions to further work their way up the rankings.
Here are the fights to make for the UFC Fight Night: Halifax main card.
Rory MacDonald vs. Hendricks/Lawler winner
Canada's Rory MacDonald proclaimed himself as the logical No. 1 contender in the welterweight division following his third round knockout of Tarec Saffiedine. The win put ‘Ares' on a three-fight win streak and pushes him to the cusp of earning a title shot against the winner between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler in December. MacDonald appeared disinterested in any other fight than a title shot, and there are few fights to schedule in the meantime that would be essential to his ascent up the rankings.
In the co-main event of the evening, Rapahel Assuncao cemented himself as a top competitor in the bantamweight division with a unanimous decision victory over Bryan Caraway. With a title fight between the returning Dominick Cruz and T.J, Dillashaw on the horizon, Assuncao will likely need another octagon outing before he can secure the coveted title shot. While many believe he should face Renan Barao next, I propose the UFC set up a WEC rematch between Assuncao and Urijah Faber to determine the division's No. 1 contender.
Chad Laprise vs. Alan Patrick
London, Ontario's Chad Laprise maintained his undefeated professional record on Saturday night with a unanimous decision victory over Yosdenis Cedeno. The win pushes him to 9-0 in competition and 2-0 under the UFC banner. Next for Laprise should be a step up in competition, yet someone outside the UFC's Top 15 fighters in the division.
Elias Theodorou vs. Smith/ Magalhães winner
While his win was far from impressive, Elias Theodorou extended his undefeated record to 10-0 with a 2-0 record inside the octagon. Since his win hardly earned him a Top 15 competitor in the division, he should await the winner between Trevor Smith and Caio Magalhães in November's Uberlandia event.
Although he did not earn one of the post-fight bonuses for his efforts, Mitch Gagnon made quick work of Roman Salazar in the opening fight on the Halifax main card to pick up yet another submission victory in the UFC. The fight lasted a total of 2:06 minutes and brought Gagnon to a 12-2 record overall. He is now on a four-fight win streak in the UFC and has not lost since his UFC debut against Bryan Caraway. While an easy matchmaking option would be to place him against Aljamain Sterling again, another option would be to slot him against another submission winner on Saturday's fight card: Pedro Munhoz.