Heading into Saturday’s Co-Main Event on The Ultimate Finale 13, many felt that Anthony Pettis would be the man earning his next shot at the UFC Lightweight Title. Well Clay Guida came away with a unanimous decision victory over Pettis, propelling himself up the rankings and possibly setting himself up for a future date with the winner of Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard battle if and when they do meet again.
Clay Guida isn’t the only fighter looking to add his name to that list, Ben Henderson, Jim Miller and Melvin Guillard are also looking to earn that next opportunity at the lightweight title. Following the event Dana White himself has said that Jim Miller is still ahead of Clay Guida despite Guida’s win over Pettis, but what should happen if Miller falls to Henderson remains unseen.
Jim Miller is currently riding a 7 fight win streak and has only tasted defeat twice his career, one to Gray Maynard inside the UFC and once to Frankie Edgar outside of the promotion. With that all in mind, the AMA stand-out will put it all on the line when he takes on former WEC Champion Ben Henderson at UFC on Versus 5 in August. A win there, could cement Miller’s spot at the top of the food chain for the one of the most loaded divisions in all of MMA.
On the other end of the spectrum, Ben Henderson could throw his name in the hat with a solid showing against Miller. The former WEC champion made his UFC debut at UFC 129, defeating Mark Bocek via Unanimous decision. “Smooth” was on a roll in the WEC prior to the loss to Pettis, winning ten straight fights and earning himself the interim Lightweight Championship with a win over Donald Cerrone before beating then champion Jamie Varner to unify the titles. Ben Henderson is never far from a title shot, and with Pettis dropping a bit further back, Henderson could make the most of the opportunity with a win over Miller.
Melvin Guillard has also forged a charge in an attempt to get a shot at the champion. At only 28 years of age, “The Young Assassin” has had 38 professional fights and since moving to Jackson’s MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, has seemed to round out his wrestling and defense to go with his impressive striking. Melvin has also found himself in a new place mentally thanks in part to Coach Jackson. Since moving to Jackson’s, Guillard has won 4 straight bouts including finishing highly regarded Evan Dunham. Guillard will look to add to that streak when he takes on Shane Roller at UFC 132. With a win, Guillard should keep his name at the top of the heap on a the short list of next contenders.
While Jay Silva could have his hands full sorting out the division and it’s possible contenders, this should keep fans entertained with exciting possible match-ups in the next coming months, all with title shot implications. And while Maynard/Edgar III waits in the winds, possibly with a fall bout getting scheduled, the next contender could change by the month. With four possible fighters all buying for one spot, the next shot is up for grabs in MMA’s most stacked division.