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How deep is the division - Lightweight May 2013

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jjeans

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For a long time the Lightweight Division has been referred to as the deepest division in Mixed Martial Arts and for a long time it has been clear to see why. However I believe the division is currently the shallowest it has been since BJ Penn beat Diego Sanchez in 2009.

In October 2012 there were 6 guys who all had a solid argument for a title shot:
Frankie Edgar – Coming off a close/controversial championship loss
Nate Diaz – Riding a 3-0 Streak since returning to Lightweight
Gray Maynard –Had just gotten his first victory after his championship draw and loss.
Anthony Pettis – 2-0 and the only guy to beat the champion.
Donald Cerrone – Riding a 2-0 Streak but 8-1 since May 2010.
T.J. Grant – Riding a 3-0 Streak since returning to Lightweight

Now with 2 of those 6 dropping down weight to Challenge Aldo and the addition of Strikeforce fighters the division these are the guys who could argue for a title now (May 2013):
Gilbert Melendez - Coming off a close/controversial championship loss
Josh Thomson – 3 Close fights with Gilbert and finished a Diaz brother
Pat Healy – Riding a 7 fight winning steak
Gray Maynard – Same as before -Got his first victory after his championship draw and loss.
T.J Grant – Now riding a 4-0 Streak since returning to Lightweight

First thing to note is Melendez, Thomson and Healy were all the elite of Strikeforce. So if you’re talking about how deep is the division across the world from 2012 you’d add those 3 guys into the list and Alvarez/Chandler. You do that in today’s standings and you’d still only have the 5 listed above + Alvarez/Chandler.

Frankie Edgar, Dennis Siver and Clay Guida dropping a weight class, Nate Diaz being dominated by the champion, Anthony Pettis beating Cerrone then also dropping a weight class, has all added up to the division looking weak.

Yes there are young guns on the Horizon such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rafael Dos Anjos and Abel Trujilo but to look at the division and to believethe top end of the division is the best it’s ever been, I think you’re just reminiscing about how stacked it used to be.

Dirty Blue.

Last edited 5/8/13 2:55PM server time by jjeans
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Post #1   5/8/13 2:53:50PM   

tcunningham

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yea the division has definitely lost some depth. i think there is some great fights to be had and a few more title fights to put together though. i would like to see bendo vs maynard if grey can win a few more fights. plus josh thomson looked extremely good against nate. healy took miller out so there could be some great fights for him still. i wouldnt say the LW div. looks weak but it aint what it was last year.

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Post #2   5/8/13 3:33:04PM   

prozacnation1978

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I agree

Siver Edgar Pettis and guida are now featherweights
Diaz is pretty much out of picture

Ufc needs to sign Eddie Alvarez now

After grant vs Maynard.

I wouldn't mind a Healy vs Thomson for next title shot
Right now is a good time for Penn to come back to 155

Post #3   5/8/13 6:12:20PM   

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I would argue Featherweight is now the deepest division

So many guys lined up that you could argue a title shot for.

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Post #4   5/8/13 6:25:06PM   

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Posted by Budgellism

I would argue Featherweight is now the deepest division

So many guys lined up that you could argue a title shot for.



I think either that or Welterweight.

I'll probably do Featherweight next though as UFC 162(?) has a tonne of Featherweight fights.

Interesting shout though is which division is the shallowest.... Womens Bantamweight - Male Bantamweight - Flyweight or Heavyweight...
I say Bantamweight

Flyweight might not have a big cast but the 5 top tier guys they do have (Johnson, Dodson, Benavidez, McCall, Moraga) Is more than the 3 from Bantamweight :Cruz Barao Faber..... Those guys are the division.

Last edited 5/9/13 1:20PM server time by jjeans
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Post #5   5/9/13 1:14:48PM   

tepid55

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I don't think there is a lack of depth at Lightweight, I just think Ben Henderson may be the greatest lightweight that the UFC has ever seen.

Post #6   5/9/13 9:46:42PM   

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Posted by jjeans

Flyweight might not have a big cast but the 5 top tier guys they do have (Johnson, Dodson, Benavidez, McCall, Moraga) Is more than the 3 from Bantamweight :Cruz Barao Faber..... Those guys are the division.


I'd include Mayday among the elite at BW

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Post #7   5/12/13 11:55:22PM   

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Posted by tepid55

I don't think there is a lack of depth at Lightweight, I just think Ben Henderson may be the greatest lightweight that the UFC has ever seen.



Compared to recent years though? He's one hell of a lightweight I agree with that but 2 of his last 3 fights haven't been a piece of cake for him or the judges scoring the fights!

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Post #8   5/13/13 3:04:17AM   

Shawn91111

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Immediate rematches also hurt. For Gray and then Edgar instead of losing once then winning a few and spanning out the title fights. They lose 2 in a row and have basically nowhere to go.

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Post #9   5/13/13 10:26:13AM   

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If Bendo were more aggressive, it'd be one-man-shallow. The only reason Gil won any rounds was not because of anything he did, but because of what Bendo didn't do. If he would've stopped feinting and actually do things he would've won every round easy.

Post #10   5/13/13 1:53:03PM