FightLines: UFC Lightweights




This one's a beast, ladies and gents.

B.J. Penn, handful, and chaos.  Name three things to describe my sex life the UFC lightweight division.

Let's start from the bottom and work our way up.  When we speak about the depth of the lightweight division, we're really just talking about the revolving cattle at the bottom of the heap.  Fighters like Kurt Pellegrino, Matt Grice, and Matt Wiman exemplify the meaning of minutiae.  Sure, each guy has his own unique style and various strengths and weaknesses, but they all end up as fodder for the guys at the top.

And who are those guys at the top?  Outside of UFC 101 challenger Kenny Florian, I see only three guys who can lay claim to a title shot within the next year: Diego Sanchez, Gray Maynard, and Frank Edgar.  If you ask Sanchez, he's been guaranteed a fight with the winner of the Penn/Florian contest.  Maynard, who holds a win over Edgar, should get by former posterboy Roger Huerta with little trouble, but will probably have to take a fight in the meantime.

Edgar looked to be in trouble going into his UFC 98 bout with Sean Sherk.  After being outmuscled by Maynard in April of 2008, many wondered if the New Jersey native had the size to compete at 155.  Edgar dismissed those notions with a 15 minute thrashing of the former champ, outstriking him from bell-to-bell and nullifying his takedowns.

At the summit, a Hawaiian king stands tall above the rest.  Don't let his lopsided loss against Georges St. Pierre fool you; Penn remains a monolith at 155.  Few in the division possess his jiu-jitsu, heavy hands, and rubbery wrestling separately, and it's safe to say no one puts those skills together like Penn.  Kenny Florian has quite a task set in front of him.  Even a perfect fight may not be enough to dethrone the king.

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