Following every UFC and Invicta FC event, The MMA Corner will break down the event and suggest fights the promotion should make in the future. This week, our focus is on UFC Fight Night 42, which took place on June 7 from the Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, N.M.

Benson Henderson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

In a fight with more risk than reward, Benson Henderson stepped up to the occasion. In the evening’s headliner, the former lightweight champion took on a dangerous opponent in Russian Rustam Khabilov. Henderson defeated Khabilov by submission in the fourth round, then proceeded to challenge all lightweight contenders to come see him before waiting on Anthony Pettis or Gilbert Melendez.

Another Russian opponent could be the first to answer that challenge.

In the 155-pound division, there aren’t many who want to fight the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov. With a record of 22-0, Nurmagomedov has caught the eye of everyone in the weight class, but he hasn’t been able to find an opponent since his win over Rafael dos Anjos in April. However, it appears Henderson would gladly step up.

The lightweight title remains on hold until Pettis and Melendez finish coaching The Ultimate Fighter and engage in their five-round title fight later this year. Henderson wants another opportunity to take back his crown, and Nurmagomedov wants a chance at a title bid of his own. A fight between them offers a very intriguing bout which could easily headline a “Fight Night” card.

Diego Sanchez vs. Ross Pearson II

We may have witnessed one of the worst robberies in UFC history in Albuquerque. Diego Sanchez and Ross Pearson squared off in the co-main event on Saturday, with Pearson taking a clear 30-27 unanimous decision in the eyes of many. Instead, the judges sided with local fan-favorite Sanchez in a split decision. One judge actually scored the fight 30-27 in favor of “Nightmare.” It’s so absurd that Sanchez even said so himself at the post-fight press conference.

There have been many bad decisions in the sport throughout history, but this one ranks pretty high up there. If there were ever a cause for a rematch, this is it. Pearson will accept it obviously, and Sanchez would likely grant Pearson a second chance, even though Sanchez wants to face the likes of Nate Diaz next.

Sanchez vs. Pearson II needs to happen in Pearson’s home country of England. It’s only fair, right? Pearson went to Sanchez’s home territory, so now Sanchez should travel to Pearson’s backyard. Given the controversial conclusion to Saturday’s fight, the rematch could be a headliner, but more than likely on a “Fight Pass” event.

John Dodson vs. Demetrious Johnson-Ali Bagautinov winner

John Dodson and John Moraga had unfinished business stemming from a 2010 fight in which Dodson claimed the unanimous decision. On Saturday, Dodson settled everything with a victory by doctor’s stoppage after Moraga suffered a broken nose.

After the win, the always-entertaining “Magician” declared that he’s coming for the winner of thecontest between Demetrious Johnson and Ali Bagautinov, who meet next weekend at UFC 174 for the flyweight title.

There’s no question Dodson is next in line for a second crack at the belt. Since losing to “Mighty Mouse” last year, Dodson has impressed with back-to-back stoppage wins before the third round. Bagautinov may have the next shot, but Dodson is the guy with the greater chance of dethroning the champ. In terms of speed, he has kept pace with Johnson before, and he has the ability to finish fights at a high rate, even at 125 pounds.

If Bagautinov finds a way to beat Johnson, Dodson wouldn’t have a problem fighting him despite the fact both men train at Jackson’s MMA.

Regardless of who wins this Saturday, the champion will have a difficult challenge coming his way.

Rafael dos Anjos vs. Michael Johnson-Josh Thomson winner

In the lightweight division, Brazilian Rafael dos Anjos earned a TKO stoppage over Jason High in the second round, much to the dismay of High.

High absorbed a number of strikes, many of which were delivered to the back of his head. The referee stopped the bout after dos Anjos said his opponent was out. But no matter the method, dos Anjos will gladly accept the win.

The victory is key for dos Anjos, who remains in the hunt at 155 pounds. He now sits in an interesting spot, below Nurmagomedov and above Donald Cerrone in the rankings. Nurmagomedov beat him in April, but dos Anjos defeated Cerrone back in 2013. The Brazilian may not be in title contention just yet, but he is close.

A fight that makes a lot of sense for him next would pit him against the winner of the upcoming battle between Michael Johnson and Josh Thomson, who are scheduled to meet at UFC on Fox 12 on July 26. Thomson is ranked third in the division, while Johnson sits in eighth.

The UFC can’t go wrong in pairing the winner with dos Anjos.

Piotr Hallmann vs. Michael Chiesa

Despite an 11-year age difference between Piotr Hallmann and Yves Edwards, the younger Hallmann proved his worth by submitting the always-tough veteran fighter.

Hallmann earned “Performance of the Night” honors by locking up a rear-naked choke on Edwards to force a tap in the third round. Hallmann is now 2-1 inside the Octagon. He is just one of many up-and-coming fighters in the talented lightweight division.

Up next for Hallmann should be a bout against The Ultimate Fighter 15 winner Michael Chiesa. Chiesa is coming off back-to-back wins. Like Hallmann, he is still looking to make a significant climb in the ranks.

Both men are 26 years old, and a match-up between them could sort out who has potential to break through to the next level.

Bryan Caraway vs. Iuri Alcantara

While the haters continue to hate on Bryan Caraway, the guy continues to find his hand raised.

On Saturday, “Kid Lightning” defeated Erik Perez by submission in the second round, locking up a rear-naked choke to force his opponent to submit. Caraway is now 4-1 in the UFC. He currently sits at No. 14 in the bantamweight division. With a win over Perez, the 12th-ranked guy in the division, Caraway will have tougher competition coming his direction.

That competition includes Iuri Alcantara, a winner of back-to-back fights. Alcantara last knocked out Vaughan Lee in just 25 seconds on May 31, and he is 3-1 at 135 pounds.

If the UFC wants to test Caraway and allow him to prove himself even further, a fight against the Brazilian will certainly do the trick. Twenty-five of Alcantara’s 30 wins have come by knockout or submission, so it’s a difficult challenge that offers the possibility of a high reward for Caraway.

About The Author

Corey Adams
Staff Writer

Corey Adams didn't grow up watching mixed martial arts, considering the UFC was just getting started the year he was born, but in his teenage years, witnessed the action and has fallen in love with the sport. Corey was the first to join The MMA Corner staff -- other than founder Josh Davis -- and has been writing for the site ever since. Corey attends Austin Peay State University, where he majors in Communications with a focus on journalism. When he's not covering MMA, Corey is still writing on many sports with both local and campus newspapers. His favorite sports teams are the Atlanta Braves and Denver Broncos. Follow him on Twitter at the link below.