It ain’t easy being Frankie Edgar – Two times he has entered the eight-sided fighting circle with reigning UFC lightweight kingpin Benson Henderson, twice he and many around him believe he has won the tussle, yet he hasn’t left with his hand raised once against the Arizona resident.
Henderson and Edgar capped off UFC 150 with a highly competitive five round affair, the capacity crowd in the UFC’s birthplace might not have agreed but UFC king defended his title for the first time.
As I always do, I will put on my matchmakers hat and enter my imaginary world where the injury bug doesn’t tear my fight choices to smithereens let’s take a look.
Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz
Whether you believe he earned the right to remain the ruler of the 155-pound ranks or not, you cannot deny that Henderson is amongst the best fighters in the industry with a diverse range of strikes, high-paced scrambles and impossible to choke neck Henderson might be the UFC lightweight titlist for some time to come.
There’s one man that might have something to say about that though, Nate Diaz earned the right to be next in line to dethrone the MMA Lab poster-boy with a win over long-time top-ranked lightweight Jim Miller on the third FOX instalments main event and if your not jazzed up for that fight then you better go watch some figure skating because you don’t like fighting.
Frankie Edgar vs. Ricardo Lamas
Well, whether it’s through peer pressure or whether it’s a personal choice it’s fair to assume that Frankie Edgar will be moving ten pounds south to join the 145-pound ranks that are sorely in need of more challengers for Brazilian bomber Jose Aldo.
Because of his previous accomplishments and without a bunch of worthwhile contenders staking a serious claim at the top of the division Edgar should get thrown in head-first with a title-eliminator fight.
Ricardo Lamas is the hottest commodity in the featherweight division that hasn’t met Aldo already following his upset victory over number-two ranked featherweight Hatsu Hioki, a win for either would earn them a chance at the winner of the pending featherweight championship fight between Jose Aldo and Erik Koch.
Donald Cerrone vs. Anthony Pettis
The featured bout might have served up a load of controversy but that wasn’t the case in the co-main event as fellow lightweight Donald Cerrone dispatched of his friend and former training partner Melvin Guillard in just 76 seconds while lining his pockets with an additional $120,000.
Cerrone called for a fight with fellow blue cage champion Anthony Pettis in the post-fight press conference which is a fight that has even the most jaded fight fans are salivating at the thought of, while Pettis isn’t expected back until the fall “Cowboy” would be the perfect opponent to welcome him home.
Melvin Guillard vs. Edson Barboza
Lightweight matchmaking is always the most fun, just close your eyes, throw your hands deep into the lucky dip boxes matching winners with winners and losers with losers and nine times out of ten you’ll pull out something pretty enticing.
Guillard and Barboza both suffered knockouts in their last matches and both bring the fight and throw with bad intentions, put that all together and you’ll get nothing but fireworks.
Jake Shields vs. Yushin Okami II
Well, maybe there’s a screw or two is loose in my head for suggesting this fight but hear me out here, Shields and Okami first met in the 2006 Rumble on The Rock welterweight tournament with Shields narrowly getting past Okami to move on to the finals where he dispatched of Carlos Condit.
As we fast forward six years both men are in the process of climbing up the middleweight ladder and because of their profile they are going to get their faster than most, a win for either man can push them towards the top of the mix and it will be interesting to see the development of each fighter since their controversial match in Hawaii.
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