White: Brown one fight from title shot

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Matt Brown won his 7th fight in a row on Saturday night, tying for second place in the UFC all-time streak record, behind only Anderson Silva's 11. Brown did so in an extraordinary fight of the year candidate vs. Erick Silva.

In any other division he would be getting a title shot next. But the level of depth at welterweight is truly deep.

Brown was explicit at the post fight press conference about what he wanted.

“I am not calling it a title shot, I am calling it a title fight because I am not going to take a shot at it. I'm going to take the title when I go fight for it,” said Brown.

The case against Brown is a simple one – he has no wins vs. top 10 fighters. However, looking at the fighters ranked above him, a solid case emerges for a title fight as soon as champion Johny Hendricks recovers from surgery:
1. Robbie Lawler – Had a title shot in March
2. Rory MacDonald – On a one-fight win streak
3. Tyron Woodley – 3-2 last five fights
4. Carlos Condit – Injured
5. Jake Ellenberger – 2-2 last four fights
6. Hector Lombard – Only has two fights in the division
7. Matt Brown

Never the less, UFC president Dana White firmly applied the brakes to title talk, noting that the back injury Brown sustained before a planned fight with Carlos Condit at UFC on FOX 9 in December is what delayed the title fight.

“I said, ‘You sound like the media. Calm down. Let me go home, and we’ll figure it out,'” said White. “Matt Brown should have already been in that position. He hurt his back with that Condit fight. That was the fight that was going to get him where he wanted to be. But this fight definitely puts him in a spot where we’ll give him one of those top contenders.”

Here are the UFC's top 10 welterweight contenders:
1. Robbie Lawler
2. Rory MacDonald
3. Tyron Woodley
4. Carlos Condit
5. Jake Ellenberger
6. Hector Lombard
7. Matt Brown
8. Demian Maia
9. Dong Hyun Kim
10. Tarec Saffiedine

Several already have fights lined up:
Robbie Lawler vs. Jake Ellenberger at UFC 173: Barao vs Dillashaw on 05/24.
Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley at UFC 174: Bagautinov vs. Johnson on 06/14/2014

Hendricks was cleared earlier this week for light MMA training, and anticipates a fight in late 2014.

So UG, who should Brown fight next? Is there anyone but Hector Lombard that makes sense?

White as much as agreed during a post-fight interview on FOX Sports 1.

“We’re going to give him something big, maybe Hector Lombard is next,” said White.