Prior to UFC 123, I wrote an article talking about how George Sotiropoulos could be the next great lightweight champion.
Now that UFC 123 is over, I feel a bit more confident in Sotiropoulos being at least a very formidable opponent for Frankie Edgar.
Joe Lauzon did come out and give Sotiropoulos a heck of a fight at the start. He was landing punches and working at a frantic pace. The first round went in favor of Lauzon.
That was the end of Lauzon in the fight; he was out of energy, and Sotiropoulos has great stamina and cardio. George was able to get him against the cage and land some body shots. Then he took him down and was able to lock in a kimura for the submission.
After the fight, Sotiropoulos said that he wanted the belt. That fight will have to wait, because he will first have to fight Dennis Siver at UFC 127. If he is able to win that, odds are good that a title fight will follow.
He would match up well against Maynard. In fact, Sotiropoulos would likely have the advantage in almost every category, with stamina likely being equal or slightly in favor of Maynard, just because Maynard always fights three rounds.
A fight with Edgar would be a different story. Edgar has improved so much in the last few years, it's scary. He is so quick and has such good striking and ground technique that Edgar would get the edge if that is the fight.
First things first, though; Sotiropoulos has to take care of business in February. Otherwise, this whole argument is moot. Sotiropoulos has the tools needed to become a champion, it's just a question of if/when he gets his shot.