The event is in the books, the hangover has subsided, it's time to take a look at the match ups to make following UFC on Versus 5. While there were no titles on the line last night, there were some title implications, making this one of the more significant free events that Zuffa has promoted.
The Lightweight Title Picture: In the history of the sport, I can't remember a division with a fuzzier title picture. Due to injuries, the third and final fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard has been postponed to UFC 136. Jim Miller was waiting in the wings and Clay Guida and Melvin Guillard emerged as viable contenders. Now just 24 hours after UFC on Versus 5, the top of the division is even more confusing. Jim Miller's loss means that Guillard, Guida, and now Ben Henderson all have a rightful claim to the belt. Anthony Pettis is a couple fights away and Sean Sherk returns from injury. I don't know what's going on with the division but I'm gonna be paying attention.
Dan Hardy still has a job?: Did anyone expect this? I didn't. My understanding was a four fight losing streak marks the end of a UFC career. People can bring up Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva but they have a history, a record, and a fan base to make them viable commodities in MMA. What does Dan Hardy offer? And why was he shooting a takedown after complaining for months about Anthony Johnson wrestling him for 15 minutes?
WEC Never Die!: Outside of the Danny Castillo loss to Jacob Volkmann, the WEC veterans were phenomenal last night. Besides the aforementioned Henderson, Donald Cerrone looked fantastic. Has he improved enough to deserve a fight against a Matt Wiman or George Sotiropoulis? I think either of those fights would be wildly entertaining and could really decide if Cerrone is stuck as a perennial prospect or a fighter with a future. Castillo's loss obviously hurts him but out of all the WEC lightweights, he was the least impressive.
Joseph Benavidez - Better than Urijah Faber?: A direct comparison between the two Team Alpha Male performances against Eddie Wineland would yield that Joseph Benavidez is the superior fighter. He was able to dictate the pace of the entire fight and out kickboxed the former WEC bantamweight champion. Faber may have the name and experience but Benavidez has the talent and it shined last night.
Lytle for Senate?: Chris Lytle retired from MMA last night. While some believe this is only temporary, he really looked like he wanted to spend more time with his family. He told Luke Thomas that he deposits all the bonus checks into an account to pay for his children's college education. That's over 500k in his 20 UFC fights. Not bad for a fireman from Indiana. He has intentions of running for Indiana state senate. Talk about a jack of all trades.