The lightweight division is widely regarded as the best in sport. There are several lightweight contenders.
For starters, I would take the top 15 lightweight fighters, pound for pound over any division in the sport. Melvin Guilard went on a five fight win streak and was still two or three fights away from the title. There are great fighters littered across. And the fighters are so diverse and skilled.
The proof is in the pudding.
Joe Lauzon, a borderline top ten fighter is very dangerous and could defeat anyone in the division via submission.
There are a myriad of top competitors for a title shot. Most of which have defeated each other. It’s like a carousel that never stops. Gray Maynard has defeated Nate Diaz, the number one contender. Anthony Pettis beat Ben Henderson back in the WEC in what was a great match. Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard have had a great trilogy.
Next in line to take his turn with Henderson for the lightweight title is Diaz, but past that there is a lot of uncertainty as to who is the next challenger to the throne.
There are several qualified candidates.
Conventional wisdom would pit Donald Cerrone versus Pettis. They have had their issues recently. Cerrone accused Pettis of ducking him, a charge that has ignited a rivalry between the two.
But I think that would leave Gray Maynard out of the picture. And he’s looking for another shot at the belt.
“Nate’s on a roll; I think he’ll pull it out. If he does, I know he was begging for me for a long time, but for me I was looking at the title and that’s a fight that would be a great fight for the title. I’d like to do the TV show against him if that’s the case. For me as of now, it’s about going up against the top guys. Like I don’t care about paydays, and stuff like that. Right now it’s about beating the top guys and getting the belt. I did a lot of work all the way till now and I’m at the top. I need that belt, and I switched up a lot of stuff to do that. I changed gyms, did everything I could, so when the opportunity happens I’ll be prepared for it.”
I like what Dana White did at UFC on Fox 4, where a title shot went to the competitor who won their fight the most impressive.
Imagine Maynard versus Lauzon on the same card with Cerrone versus Pettis with a title bout on the line. I think that would make for an interesting card.
Competition inspires the best in all of us.