FanPost

My Look at the Lightweight Division

World Top 10: Bellator's two best fighters Eddie Alvarez, and Michael Chandler crash right into the middle of the UFC party. Either man would be very competitive against the best in the UFC.

Name

Next fight

Last fight

1

Anthony Pettis

TBD

W/ Ben Henderson, 31 Aug

2

Ben Henderson

Josh Thomson, 25 Jan

L/ Anthony Pettis, 31 Aug

3

Gilbert Melendez

TBD

w/ Diego Sanchez, 19 Oct

4

TJ Grant

TBD

W/ Gray Maynard, 25 May

5

Eddie Alvarez

Michael Chandler

w/ Michael Chandler, 2 Nov

6

Michael Chandler

Eddie Alvarez

l/ Eddie Alvarez, 2 Nov

7

Josh Thomson

Ben Henderson, 25 Jan

W/ Nate Diaz, 20 Apr

8

Khabib Nurmagomedov

TBD

w/ Pat Healy, 21 Sep

9

Gray Maynard

Nate Diaz, 30 Nov

L/ TJ Grant, 25 May

10

Rafael Dos Anjos

TBD

w/ Donald Cerrone, 28 Aug

UFC:

Champ: Anthony Pettis - Pettis is flashy, charismatic, finishes his fights, but he is also injury prone. Pettis has pulled out of a title fight for the 2nd time this year with a knee injury, and could be on the shelf for up to eight months.

State of the Division: Lightweight is deep on talent from top to bottom, but there is a cluster at the top when it comes to potential title challengers. There are five fighters in the mix for a title shot, but some of them will lose, and others will establish themselves over the next eight months while Anthony Pettis recovers from his injury. Top three pound for pound fighter, and UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo can't get through a fight without hinting that he wants to move up from Featherweight to Lightweight where he would command an immediate title shot. Behind the title contenders is a stack of solid veterans, and rising prospects that have tremendous skills and abilities. Rumors that top Bellator fighter Eddie Alvarez could be a free agent after his next fight put another name out there that could jump right into title contention.

In the Mix: Guys on the UFC's short list for a title shot.

(2) Gilbert Melendez - The former Strikeforce champ got back into the mix with a FOTN win over Diego Sanchez.

(3) TJ Grant was lined up for a title shot in August, but has been sidelined with a concussion for a while now.

(4) Josh Thomson was going to fight for the title at UFC on FOX 9 in December before Pettis was injured. Now he will fight former champ Ben Henderson at UFC on FOX 10, and has a chance to really stake his claim for a title shot.

(5) Khabib Nurmagomedov's win over Pat Healy stunned many people, and confirmed that he is a serious player in this division.

(9) Rafael Dos Anjos has five straight wins, and his last one over Donald Cerrone is his best to date.

Key Fights:

(1) Ben Henderson vs. (4) Josh Thomson - Though Thomson's title shot feel through, he has been given a chance against Henderson to cement his claim to a title shot later in 2014.

(7) Pat Healy vs. (16) Bobby Green - This fight is bigger for Green than Healy, because Bobby could throw his name right into the UFC top 10 with a win.

My Complete Rankings:

Name

Next fight

Last fight

C

Anthony Pettis

TBD

W/ Ben Henderson, 31 Aug

1

Ben Henderson

Josh Thomson, 25 Jan

L/ Anthony Pettis, 31 Aug

2

Gilbert Melendez

TBD

w/ Diego Sanchez, 19 Oct

3

TJ Grant

TBD

W/ Gray Maynard, 25 May

4

Josh Thomson

Ben Henderson, 25 Jan

W/ Nate Diaz, 20 Apr

5

Khabib Nurmagomedov

TBD

w/ Pat Healy, 21 Sep

6

Gray Maynard

Nate Diaz, 30 Nov

L/ TJ Grant, 25 May

7

Rafael Dos Anjos

TBD

w/ Donald Cerrone, 28 Aug

8

Pat Healy

Bobby Green, 14 Dec

l/ Khabib Nurmagomedov, 21 Sep

9

Nate Diaz

Gray Maynard, 30 Nov

L/ Josh Thompson, 20 Apr

10

Donald Cerrone

TBD

W/ Evan Dunham, 16 Nov

11

Jim Miller

Fabricio Camoes, 28 Dec

NC/ Pat Healy, 27 Apr

12

Diego Sanchez

TBD

l/ Gilbert Melendez, 19 Oct

13

Gleison Tibau

Michael Johnson, 28 Dec

w/ Jaime Varner, 31 Aug

14

Rustam Khabilov

TBD

w/ Jorge Masvidal, 6 Nov

15

Bobby Green

Pat Healy, 14 Dec

W/ James Krause, 6 Nov

16

Jorge Masvidal

TBD

l/ Rustam Khabilov, 6 Nov

17

Evan Dunham

TBD

L/ Donald Cerrone, 16 Nov

18

Matt Wiman

TBD

L/ TJ Grant, 26 Jan

19

Jaime Varner

TBD

l/ Gleison Tibau, 31 Aug

20

Melvin Guillard

Ross Pearson, 8 Mar

NC/ Ross Pearson, 26 Oct

21

Danny Castillo

Edson Barboza, 14 Dec

w/ Tim Means, 27 Jul

22

Edson Barboza

Danny Castillo, 14 Dec

W/ Rafaello Oliveira, 6 Jul

23

Ross Pearson

Melvin Guillard, 8 Mar

NC/ Melvin Guillard, 26 Oct

24

Mark Bocek

TBD

l/ Rafael Dos Anjos, 17 Nov

25

Michael Johnson

Gleison Tibau, 28 Dec

w/ Joe Lauzon, 17 Aug

26

John Makdessi

TBD

W/ Renee Forte, 21 Sep

27

Joe Lauzon

Mac Danzig, 14 Dec

l/ Michael Johnson, 17 Aug

28

Takanori Gomi

TBD

l/ Diego Sanchez, 2 Mar

29

Isaac Vallie-Flagg

TBD

w/ Yves Edwards, 2 Feb

30

Michael Chiesa

TBD

W/ Colton Smith, 6 Nov

31

Anthony Njokuani

TBD

W/ Roger Bowling, 20 Apr

32

Myles Jury

TBD

w/ Mike Ricci, 19 Sep

33

James Krause

TBD

L/ Bobby Green, 6 Nov

34

Tony Ferguson

TBD

W/ Mike Rio, 19 Oct

35

Norman Parke

TBD

w/ Jon Tuck, 26 Oct

36

Erik Koch

TBD

l/ Dustin Poirier, 31 Aug

37

Fabricio Camoes

Jim Miller, 28 Dec

l/ Melvin Guillard, 7 Jul

38

Mac Danzig

Joe Lauzon, 14 Dec

L/ Melvin Guillard, 27 Jul

39

Sam Stout

Cody McKenzie, 14 Dec

L/ James Krause, 15 Jun

40

Al Iaquinta

TBD

w/ Piotr Hallmann, 26 Oct

41

Piotr Hallmann

TBD

l/ Al Iaquinta, 26 Oct

42

Francisco Trinaldo

TBD

L/ Piotr Hallmann, 4 Sep

43

KJ Noons

TBD

w/ George Sotiropoulos, 21 Oct

44

Abel Trujillo

Roger Bowling, 14 Dec

NC/ Roger Bowling, 28 Aug

45

Yancy Medeiros

TBD

W/ Yves Edwards, 6 Nov

46

Adriano Martins

TBD

W/ Daron Cruickshank, 9 Nov

47

Allan Patrick

TBD

W/ Garett Whiteley, 9 Oct

48

Justin Salas

TBD

L/ Thiago Tavares, 9 Nov

49

Daron Cruickshank

TBD

L/ Adriano Martins, 9 Nov

50

Yves Edwards

TBD

L/ Yancy Medeiros, 6 Nov

51

George Sotiropoulos

TBD

l/ KJ Noons, 21 Oct

52

Spencer Fisher

TBD

l/ Sam Stout, 22 Jun

53

Kazuki Tokudome

TBD

l/ Norman Parke, 6 Jul

54

Roger Bowling

Abel Trujillo, 14 Dec

NC/ Abel Trujillo, 28 Aug

55

Brendan Loughnane

TBD

l/ Mike Wilkinson, 15 Dec

56

James Vick

TBD

W/ Ramsey Nijem, 17 Aug

57

Mitch Clarke

TBD

w/ John Maguire, 15 Jun

58

Cody McKenzie

Sam Stout, 14 Dec

w/ Leonard Garcia, 27 Apr

59

Colton Smith

TBD

L/ Michael Chiesa, 6 Nov

60

Renee Forte

TBD

L/ John Makdessi, 21 Sep

61

Ramsey Nijem

TBD

L/ James Vick, 17 Aug

62

Quinn Mulhern

Katsunori Kikuno, 4 Jan

L/ Rick Story

63

Joe Proctor

TBD

l/ Ramsey Nijem, 8 Dec

64

Jon Tuck

TBD

l/ Norman Parke, 26 Oct

65

Michel dos Prazeres

TBD

w/ Jesse Ronson, 21 Sep

66

Mike Rio

TBD

L/ Tony Ferguson, 19 Oct

67

Vinc Pichel

TBD

l/ Rustam Khabilov, 15 Dec

68

Rafaello Oliveira

TBD

L/ Edson Barboza, 6 Jul

69

Jesse Ronson

TBD

l/ Michel Prazeres, 21 Sep

70

Cristiano Marcello

TBD

l/ Kazuki Tokudome, 3 Mar

71

Garett Whiteley

TBD

L/ Allan Patrick, 9 Oct

72

Katsunori Kikuno

Quinn Mulhern, 4 Jan

W/ Yong Jae Lee, 25 Aug

73

Tie quan Zhang

TBD

l/ Jon Tuck, 10 Nov

74

Drew Dober

TBD

w/ Tony Sims,

  • Erik Koch announced he is moving to LW, and I see him as the 36th best LW based on his work at FW.
  • Thiago Tavares said that he is dropping to Featherweight after his last fight... so for the sake of looking at Future match-ups, I've moved him out of the division.
  • Drew Dober sent a tweet that he had signed with UFC, his first fight is at Welterweight against Sean Spencer, but he is a Lightweight fighter, so I'll keep in the LW division.

Fights to Make:

(2) Gilbert Melendez vs. (10) Donald Cerrone - With Pettis out of action, UFC needs to keep the guys in the mix busy, without killing off all its contenders. This is a great action fight, that either builds Cerrone back up, or keeps Melendez front and center in fans minds.

(5) Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. (7) Rafael Dos Anjos - This match-up could also provide a fresh title challenger

(18) Matt Wiman vs. (30) Michael Chiesa - Chiesa has already done more with his UFC career than I thought he would coming off of TUF. Wiman is a solid vet, and would be a very style match-up for Chiesa.

Chopping Block: Fighters either on their way out of UFC, or desperately in need of a win in their next fight.

(50) Yves Edwards has dropped three in a row.

(51) George Sotiropoulos has dropped four in row, and it is hard to see UFC keeping him around much longer.

(52) Spencer Fisher is on a three fight losing streak, but he is one of the old school guys who will likely get to go out on his own terms.

(61) Ramsey Nijem has lost two in a row, and is likely on a short leash

(62) Quinn Mulhern got smoked by Rick Story in his UFC debut at Welterweight, and will need to rebound to keep his roster spot.

(66) Mike Rio has been submitted in the first round of his last two outings.

(67) Vinc Pichel has been in with quality competition, but dropped his last two against Rustam Khabilov, and Al Iaquinta.

Bellator Baramoter: (Strength of the Division Outside of UFC) (High / Moderate / Low)

Lightweight is one of Bellator's strongest divisions. Eddie Alvarez, and Michael Chandler have separated themselves from the pack, but there is solid depth at the next level of fighter. That next level includes a mix of veterans like Dave Jansen, Saad Awad, and David Rickles alongside up and coming talent like Will Brooks, and Alexander Sarnavskiy.

Bellator

Name

Next fight

Last fight

C

Eddie Alvarez

Michael Chandler

w/ Michael Chandler, 2 Nov

TC

Dave Jansen

TBD

w/ Marcin Held, 21 Mar

Tournament Field

Will Brooks

Alexander Sarnavskiy, 22 Nov

w/ Saad Awad, 25 Oct

Alexander Sarnavskiy

Will Brooks, 22 Nov

W/ Ricardo Tirloni, 25 Oct

Fighters

1

Michael Chandler

Eddie Alvarez

l/ Eddie Alvarez, 2 Nov

2

David Rickles

TBD

L/ Michael Chandler, 31 Jul

3

Saad Awad

TBD

l/ Will Brooks, 25 Oct

4

Derek Anderson

TBD

w/ Patricky Freire, 7 Sep

5

Patricky Freire

TBD

w/ Edson Berto, 8 Nov

6

Paul Sass

TBD

l/ Danny Castillo, 16 Feb

7

Marcin Held

TBD

l/ Dave Jansen, 21 Mar

8

Terry Etim

Patrick Cenoble, 22 Nov

l/ Renee Forte, 16 Feb

9

John Alessio

TBD

l/ Will Brooks, 27 Sep

10

Ricardo Tirloni

TBD

L/ Alexander Sarnavskiy, 25 Oct

11

Marcus Davis

TBD

L/ Alexander Sarnavskiy, 27 Sep

12

Jason Fischer

TBD

l/ David Rickels 28 Feb

13

Derek Campos

TBD

w/ Martin Stapleton, 8 Nov

14

Rob Sinclair

TBD

w/ Andre Winner, 15 Sep

15

Efrain Escudero

TBD

w/ Luis Palomino, 12 Oct

16

Michael Page

Andrew Osborne, 22 Nov

W/ Ramdan Mohamed, 12 Apr

17

Brandon Girtz

TBD

W/ Mike Estus, 18 Oct

18

JJ Ambrose

TBD

L/ David Rickels, 11 Oct

19

Martin Stapleton

TBD

l/ Derek Campos, 8 Nov

20

Larue Burley

TBD

W/ Bubba Jenkins, 20 Sep

21

Bubba Jenkins

TBD

L/ Larue Burley, 20 Sep

22

Patrick Cenoble

Terry Etim, 22 Nov

d/ Tony Fryklund

World Series of Fighting: Justin Gaethje is 3-0 in WSOF, and established himself as one of the best, if not the best fighter on the WSOF roster. WSOF will need some of their veterans or young talent to step up and give him a serious challenge.

WSOF

Next fight

Last fight

Justin Gaethje

TBD

W/ Dan Lauzon, 26 Oct

Gesias Cavalcante

TBD

W/ Tyson Griffin, 10 Aug

Luiz Firmino

TBD

w/ Jacob Volkmann, 26 Oct

Tyson Griffin

TBD

L/ Gesias Cavalcante, 10 Aug

Lewis Gonzales

TBD

w/ Antonio McKee, 10 Aug

Nick Newell

Sabah Fadai, 7 Dec

W/ Keon Caldwell, 10 Aug

Dan Lauzon

TBD

L/ Justin Gaethje, 26 Oct

Jacob Volkmann

TBD

l/ Luiz Firmino, 26 Oct

Sabah Fadai

Nick Newell, 7 Dec

w/ Cody Krahn, 26 Oct

Prospects to Watch: Here are some of the better prospects that I'm watching closely and should get a shot at one of the bigger shows in the near future.

Kevin Lee (7-0) was a college wrestler at the NAIA level, and gave up his last two years of eligibility to turn pro in MMA. His opponents to this point have a combined record of 45-24, all of them are at least .500, and he gave four their first defeat.

Lowen Tynanes (5-0) is a second-generation MMA fighter. He was a Hawaii High School wrestling champion, who blends his wrestling and striking very well.

Carlos Diego Ferreira (9-0) is the LegacyFC LW Champion. He is a BJJ black belt, who is rounding out his game, and has three quality wins in a row over Carlo Prater, Chris Feist, and Jorge Patino.

Gilbert Burns (5-0) trains is friends with Vitor Belfort, and training with him at the JACO training facility. He is a highly decorated BJJ black belt who has transitioned well to MMA.

Scott Holtzman (6-0) is the XFC Lightweight champion. He is a powerful fighter with solid standup to complement strong ground and pound when it hits the floor.

Bekzod Abdurakhmonov (4-0) was an All-American wrestler in 2012, who has transitioned to MMA very successfully so far.

Tony Martin (7-0) trains with UFC/WEC vet Brock Larsen in Minnesota, and owns a win over former TUF Finalist Phillipe Nover. He has submitted five of his seven opponents.

Recently Cut Veterans: A list of veterans recently released by the UFC

Recently Cut

Next fight

Last fight

Mike Ricci

TBD

l/ Myles Jury, 19 Sep

Ryan Couture

TBD

l/ Al Iaquinta, 31 Aug

John Maguire

TBD

l/ Mitch Clarke, 15 Jun

Tim Means

TBD

W/ Pete Spratt, 13 Sep

Colin Fletcher

Mansour Barnaoui, 14 Dec

w/ Tim Newman, 14 Sep

Marcus Levesseur

TBD

l/ Abel Trujillo, 8 Dec

Caros Fodor

Vuyisile Colossa, 6 Dec

w/ Seung Ho Yang, 13 Sep

John Cofer

TBD

w/ Chad Livingston, 14 Jun

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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