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The Chaos Continues: What the #@%! Is Going On At 155?

Don’t drink and:  drive, dial, text, facebook, or photoshop. -Anonymous

Let’s face it, Nation.  The lightweight field in the UFC  is a hopeless clusterfoxtrot.  Half of the names in the top ten last summer are either not at 155 anymore, or suddenly non-factors.  Six months ago, the WEC-UFC roster merger was supposed to clear up, once and for all, who the best fighters were.


The UFC title fight between Gray Maynard and champ Frankie Edgar was supposed to coincide nicely with the WEC’s own lightweight title fight at the December 16th event, the last by the promotion.  Anthony “Showtime Kick” Pettis defeated champion Ben Henderson by a close (but stupifyingly impressive) decision, something you would assume gives Henderson some legitimate claim to a title shot, or at least a number to get in line.

Two weeks later, Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar go have themselves a fun little match in which they both manage to kick the other’s ass, but nobody wins.  Seriously, it’s a draw.

So now Showtime is bumped back.  And so is Bendo.  Kenny Florian, the fighter’s union VP in charge of Runner-Upism and Bridesmaidery, is a smart guy, so he announces he’s going to featherweight.  (That’s forty pounds lighter than he was when he was second place to Diego Sanchez on the first season of TUF, for those who lost track at home.)

Sean Sherk has been out rehabbing injuries so long that we’ll just pretend he’s walking the earth, being a hero and solving crimes.  And BJ Penn has long since announced his intention to carefully diet his way to welterweight, so he can enjoy his adult years without working so hard, brah.

Maynard and Edgar need to beat each other up again, except they can’t because they both have broken or torn something, and while no, it’s totally not serious, they both need to rehab.  (And hey, good for them.  Come in healthy and fight like that again, fellas.  Just — one of you please win next time?)

So WEC-champ-but-not-really Pettis takes a fight with Clay Guida, and Ben Henderson draws a tough matchup with Jim Miller.   Pettis feels like if he can’t beat Guida, he doesn’t deserve the shot, and everyone nods and goes along.  Guida doesn’t like the presumption, so The Carpenter Dude goes out there and grinds out a win and spoils everything.

So…Guida is the new WEC lightweight champ, right?  Which is cool and all, except it’s pretty fresh in everyone’s mind how Guida got handled by Kenny Florian, the guy that just up and bounced from the division altogether.

On top of that, Dana White is saying that Jim Miller is next in line for a shot at the UFC 155 strap, and not the sorta-WEC-champion.  Of course, that shot is itself contingent on Miller winning over Ben Henderson, a guy that has to be in the top 10 fighters that WILL!  NOT!  TAP! (Note to self: not a bad idea…)  So that couldn’t possibly go wrong.

So Miller and Henderson will play Combat Twister at UFC Live: Lytle vs Hardy on August 14, which will hopefully get us a contender.  That’s not even taking into account who Guida will defend his WEC not-there belt against.  Melvin Guillard could make a case for himself on July 2nd … or perhaps Jeremy Stephens will get a shot.  Or Evan Dunham.  Hell, Sherk could show back up.

Who knows?  This division is nuts.

Fingers crossed, we’ll get a UFC championship fight sometime in September or October.  After that, we’ll start sorting this mess out.  We’re way past the point of suggesting that they have a battle royale.  Give us six more months, and we’ll be ready to endorse steroids and one-night tournaments.

Not that we’re complaining, you understand.  Just keep them fights coming, fellas.


Cagepotato Comments

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ArmFarmer- June 8, 2011 at 8:53 am
Aoki would get schooled by any american wrestler, and lw division is full of them. Varner, Ben, Maynard, Edgar, Sherk.. it would be aoki/melendez all over again. If aoki can't take you down he's fucked, he's as one dimensional as they come. Any of these guys would humiliate him just like Melendez did. The japanese fighters in general are lacking in the wrestling department, they stand no chance against this kind of competition.
Jawbreaker_46- June 7, 2011 at 10:53 pm
I'm a fan of the TUF Top Contender idea, although it'll never happen. And the all 155 PPV card is a killer idea, Edgar and Maynard main event, Guida vs winner of Miller and Hendo. Pettis against the loser of Miller and Hendo, Guillard, Sherk, G-Sots, Siver, etc, etc. Sounds kinda like a tournament.....
dranokills- June 7, 2011 at 10:45 pm
everyone is looking at the 155 as a mess or a clusterfuck......not me man, the way I see it is its exciting as hell.
Look at all the excellent choices we have of fighters and who they would fight? Look how fun that was....and tell me can you put that much effort, say into the heavyweight division? fuck no!
Jawbreaker_46- June 7, 2011 at 10:36 pm
Have a tournament of 4 both first round fights at one PPV and the final as the main event on Versus or Spike, then that guy gets the winner of Maynard and Edgar. Shit, Guida and Miller both would be totally justified as the next challenger, so call Guida vs Pettis the first fight and Miller vs Hendo fight 2 and put that winner against Guida for an unquestioned number one contender match. By the time all that goes down Edgar and Maynard should be good.
LargeMidget- June 7, 2011 at 10:27 pm
Pretty solid top to bottom but it could've used more humorous interjections.
The_Dead_Cow- June 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm
Lightweight is so deep right now, I just don't see Melendez getting an instant title shot whether he deserves it or not.
Jubbie- June 7, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Man Gray needs to lay off the bronzer when he looks darker than a half black man.
AndyInflammatory- June 7, 2011 at 3:05 pm
Miller has the best beard - he must get the shot.
DangadaDang- June 7, 2011 at 2:48 pm
Once again my boy Siver gets snubbed, good article otherwise.
MrMcmachoman- June 7, 2011 at 2:41 pm
The way I see it,Unless Edgar wins this next fight by KO or Sub..Maynard is the king of 155. The contender after that should be Jim Miller if he wins his next, unless the UFC tends to unify the SF and UFC lightweight belts. In which case Melendez is next.
Any others don't belong at the top for various reasons.
djp1988- June 7, 2011 at 1:27 pm
I say with all the SF talent coming over, just give Cyborg a double shot of whatever roids she is taking, and have her systematically kill off all 155ers Mortal Kombat style. I'd buy the shit out of that PPV.
The_Dead_Cow- June 7, 2011 at 1:26 pm
Why not have a ppv with all lightweight match-ups to figure this chit out?
The_Dead_Cow- June 7, 2011 at 1:20 pm
Good read REX.

WAR MILLER!!!!! or Battle Royale
stylin- June 7, 2011 at 12:56 pm
How about devoting a season of TUF to sort this out. Kind of like season 4 but instead of Comeback, it's Top Contender. I think having established, well known fighters would definately help boost their ratings, and help fans better know some fighters they love, but have only seen in the cage. It's entirely possible to get 14-16 fighters to make a full season, and you're guarenteed good fights. Sure there won't be many 155 fights on ppv, but you've got the 145 and 135ers now to pick up the slack and get more exposer.
Here's the lineup: Guida, Pettis, Bendo, J. Miller, G-Sot, Guillard, Stephens, Cerrone, Sherk, Lauzon, Siver, Fisher, Gomi, Stout, Wiman, and surprise #16 G. Melendez.
That house would be batshit nuts.
Me likey- June 7, 2011 at 12:23 pm
looking at who someone has beaten and lost to should the be #1 criteria for determining a fighters status. not looking at who a fighter has beaten and who by default has beaten all other guys who that fighter has fought. that is exactly how you validate melendez's record.
there is no way that melendez's record is as comparable to jim miller's. miller's only 2 loses came to maynard and edgar.
MonsterMaulingAss- June 7, 2011 at 11:51 am
If miller beats henderson GIVE HIM A FUCKING TITLE SHOT NEXT, lord knows hes earned it. If Hendo beats miller then make him face guida for the #1 contender spot. Be aware that guida and guillard wont fight as they're both under the jackson banner, and even though guillard is looking fantastic id say hes 2 or 3 fights away from a title shot depending on who he fights.
Stak40- June 7, 2011 at 11:44 am
Rwil-Not that it matters now but Jon Jones didnt fight anyone worth a shit before he got a title shot. I would say melendez has fought better comp then Jones so why not. I do get that Jones beat his cans in a much more dramatic fashion and the LHW div isnt as deep.

Rex-garbage ass slim shady reference. I thought you were over your man crush on him when you got into the twighlight saga and picked team Jacob!
Get Off Me- June 7, 2011 at 11:36 am
Agreed, it has to be Miller at this point. I think there is value in rematching either Edgar or Maynard. I don't think Maynard won as decisively against Miller as the decision showed in their first match. Perhaps Miller vs. loser of Edgar v. Maynard if Miller loses and Henderson can fight the winner of Edgar v. Maynard. Guida should fight the winner of Siver v. Wiman so as to establish the pecking order at lightweight.
Sherk lost to Dunham, I know the judges don't agree, but what the fuck do they know. Dunham lost to Guillard, let the loser of Wiman v. Siver fight winner of Guillard v. Roller.
Yeah it's a messy lot at 155.
RwilsonR- June 7, 2011 at 11:36 am
Look, it isn't that I don't think Melendez is a good fighter, I just don't think he deserves an automatic UFC title shot. Let him fight a top contender and prove himself in at least one tough fight in the UFC first.
RwilsonR- June 7, 2011 at 11:35 am
@ glassjawsh - "what else would you have joe silva use... who has the nicest lats?
Phil Davis would be getting more undeserved title shots than BJ Penn with that criteria.
Flatt2u- June 7, 2011 at 11:35 am
Gil definitely deserves an opportunity on the big stage. He's not had the chance to prove that he's #1, but I do like his chances against anyone else in the mix... especially in a 5 rounder.

Common opponents, MMAth and "what ifs" don't mean much, but I really don't see Guida, Miller or Maynard getting past Aoki.
RwilsonR- June 7, 2011 at 11:31 am
Also, let's look at those fighters-
Kawajiri - lost 2 of 3 in last two years = 33% win percentage
Ishida - lost 3 of 5 in last two years = 40% win percentage
Thomson - lost 2 of 4 in last two years = 50% win percentage
Aoki - lost 2 of 10 in the last two years = 80% win percentage
Damm - lost 4 of 5 in the last 2 years = 20% win percentage
Even with Aoki's very active can crushing boosting the numbers, that still leaves Melendez's win streak over opponents with a less than 50% average win record.
glassjawsh- June 7, 2011 at 11:30 am
@ me likely - simply stating who a person has fought and beaten in relation to who someone else has fought and beaten is NOT MMA math. it should, in fact, be THE #1 CRITERIA USED TO DETERMINE WHO IS MOST DESERVING OF A TITLE SHOT. what else would you have joe silva use? which guy gave him the sweetest high five? who has the nicest lats? which fighter's hot wife brushed against him in the hall?? how is this not making sense?
ReX13- June 7, 2011 at 11:28 am
think i'm going to go ahead and call this one a success.
Me likey- June 7, 2011 at 11:25 am
mma math like that never works. ex. ray mercer beat team sylvia who beat andre arlovski who beat fabricio werdum who beat fedor. does that mean that RAY MERCER could beat werdum, fedor and arlovski? well maybe arlovski