Ali Bagautinov won his UFC 169 fight on Saturday; however, he did nothing in that fight to prove he is ready for UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.
Many people said that the bout between Bagautinov and John Lineker would decide the No. 1 contender. Between Lineker almost missing weight again and Bagautinov putting on a decent-at-best performance, the Russian needs some more time to develop.
Flyweight does not have a deep talent pool yet. There are not a lot of guys in line to take on Johnson, but Bagautinov should wait one more fight, at least, before he gets a crack at the gold.
His striking did not look great against Lineker. Nobody expected that, but he looked worse than expected against a guy who should have gassed. The Russian should have been more competitive on the feet.
Also, his takedowns were nothing to rave about. He was taking on a striker who was expected to be weak on the ground, but it took some effort from the Russian to get him down.
Not only that, but he wasn't overly effective on the mat. Lineker was tapped out by Louis Gaudinot, who likely is not as skilled as Bagautinov is on the ground, but the Russian could not finish.
So, what does he bring that could threaten Johnson?
At this point, probably nothing.
Johnson is probably a better wrestler, as seen in his title fights. He is definitely a better striker, as seen in the past.
So why would Bagautinov be the next contender? He didn't show he was ready in this fight.
Well, he shouldn't be next in line. By not impressing fans and pundits, Bagautinov effectively showed that John Dodson should be next up for a title shot. At least he has great striking and good enough takedown defense to be competitive with "Mighty Mouse."
The Russian showed he has some work to do. Let's give him one more fight to prove he is truly ready for a shot at UFC glory.