What the hell happened to my favorite division???

Posted: January 27, 2014 in Commentary/Opinion

155_svgQuick question. Coming in to UFC on Fox 10, what’s the worst thing that could’ve happened? If I would’ve written down my answer before the fight, it would have looked something like this: Benson Henderson would win a controversial (‘bad’ perhaps?) decision in a fight where both fighters looked like they didn’t belong anywhere a UFC title fight.

Well guess what? That exact scenario played out Saturday night. Henderson won…and didn’t look particularly good at all. I’m not a guy who normally rips so-called “boring” fighters (I never disliked Fitch and I certainly never bashed GSP like others have), but Henderson bores me to tears. He’s like Jake Shields (okay I admit, I HAVE ripped him for being boring as hell), but even less likable, more arrogant and way weirder.

Many times the loser of a botched decision gains a bunch of credibility as a result of drawing the short straw. This is NOT one of those times. Thomson looked equally lethargic—sure, I’ll admit a broken hand had to hamper his aggressiveness. But “the Punk” showed absolutely zero sense of urgency in that fight. To say he “deserved” the win is a mistake. To say either fighter “deserved” it is highly questionable.

Now we have a division—at one time the deepest and most exciting in the world—with an injured champion; a number one contender (Henderson?) who already lost to Pettis twice, including getting tooled in the first round last time; a number 2 contender (Melendez) who’s only defeated unranked Diego Sanchez since losing his title opportunity; a number 3 contender who is concussed and who’s return date is very questionable; a number 4 (Thomson) who is just 2-3 since 2010 (one of those wins was against KJ Noons!) and might retire. Should I go on?

I’m starting to think Nate Diaz was right—this is “wack”! By the way, Diaz is number 5. He’s won one of his last three fights and says he’s going to sit on his ass until he gets a title fight.

Whenever Pettis comes back from his injury, he needs a legitimate opponent. Grant is the best choice based on his promise of a title shot and 5 fight winning streak. But he might not be ready either. That means Gilbert will be the likely choice. While I consider him one of the elites, beating Diego Sanchez is hardly a quality way to earn a second title shot in a year.

Right now, there’s only one fight I’m looking forward to at lightweight…Anthony Pettis vs. Jose Aldo. I’ve been always been a proponent of Aldo staying at 145—after all, why leave? But now I’m flipping. It’s time for Aldo to go ahead and jump up a division. We want and need that fight in 2014. The top of the weight class is crumbling before our eyes. And yes I’m overreacting, but who cares?

What used to be my favorite division has been decimated by a long series of rematches (starting with BJ/Edgar), injuries (Pettis, Grant for starters), a “grinder” as a former champion (see how polite I can be when I try?), some elite stars waning careers (Penn, Maynard, Florian, etc) and probably some bad luck too. Maybe Pettis and Aldo can save us from this treachery. Until then, I’ll be crying myself to sleep every night.

  1. […] that’s a tremendous matchup on paper—but also a huge relief for the lightweight division. I just wrote that the entire division was in disarray due to injuries (Pettis and TJ Grant) and the outcome of […]

  2. […] c’mon, he doesn’t want to go to Bellator); and let’s face it, the UFC still needs him. The lightweight division is already a shell of its former self. Melendez is currently one of the few bright spots at the […]

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