The UFC Lightweight title changed hands this past weekend, as Ben Henderson defeated champion Frankie Edgar to claim the title. Though one of the deepest divisions in the UFC, the Lightweights are in a bit of turmoil as there is no clear cut number one contender to challenge Henderson. The first words out of Dana White‘s mouth were that Henderson would face Anthony ‘Showtime’ Pettis, who scored a terrific KO over Joe Lauzon in Tokyo as well. Pettis is the last man to beat Henderson, and it is almost a surety that Henderson would relish the rematch. But is it the right thing to do?
The clear cut correct thing to do in this case is to offer Frankie Edgar a rematch. Yes, I picked against Edgar, and I thought he lost the fight, but as a champion with multiple title defenses under his belt, he deserves a shot at redemption.
And as stacked as the weight division is, many of the top flight contenders have been taking losses (Melvin Guillard, Joe Lauzon, Clay Guida, Donald Cerrone among others) and there is currently no one that stands above the crowd and deserves a title shot.
I enjoy watching Edgar fight, and have only been critical of him since UFC President Dana White christened him the number two pound for pound fighter on the planet. I disagree, he has slowly been morphing into a St Pierre style of safety, where he is looking to win rounds and points and not win fights by taking his opponents out. I stick by my judgement, that takedowns that are not followed by serious ground and pound or submission attempts are not worthy of points. Exactly how many subs did Edgar attempt against Ben?
But this does not take away from the fact that Edgar is by far the most deserving fighter for a shot at the Lightweight title. He ended the BJ Penn reign, and withstood a hell of a challenge from a very tough Gray Maynard. He deserves a shot at regaining the belt, and he will have to fight a different style to do it – he must bring some finishes to the fight, or Henderson will drive him to the 145 lb division quickly.
I would like to see Pettis take on Cerrone, and Guida face off against Maynard. Striker-Striker, Wrestler-Wrestler. And the winner of Nate Diaz and Jim Miller can face the winner of Edgar-Henderson 2. Now it’s time for some fun in watching the lightweights throughout 2012.