Last night at UFC Fight Night 20, Gray Maynard defeated Nate Diaz by split decision. Now, while I have some serious questions as to how all three of the judges had completely different scores, I'll save those for another time.
Going into the fight, many fight fans knew that if Gray Maynard were to win the fight, he'd be in serious title contention. Seeing as how he is now 7-0-1 inside the octagon, you can't really knock him for being a number one contender. You can, however, blast the UFC.
How in the world is Gray Maynard your number one contender, especially after last night? While I'll admit Maynard surprised me with ability and willingness to*box with Diaz, Maynard pretty much showed that he would stand little no chance in a fight with BJ Penn.
The other guy that is being hyped as a title contender, is Frankie Edgar. While I think Edgar is the better option given his overall body of work, I doubt he would fair any better. One glaring problem with his record is that he has already lost to Maynard, the same Maynard that he's competing with to get a title shot.
Let's just get this straight. Neither one of these men is the right choice. Neither one of these men are expected to even take a single round from BJ, at least in my view. And in all honesty, there is nobody currently in the UFC that can fair any better. So yes, these two could be the best two options, but neither one should really be an option.
Maynard looks like he is starting to become Sean Sherk. Both have outstanding wrestling, but both will look to stand rather than*take there opponent to the ground. If Gray was that scared to take Nate down, imagine how scared he'd be to take BJ down.
The UFC needs to bring in new talent. No, not by doing another lightweight-only TUF, please don't do that. They need to go out and grab some serious contenders. There are guys out there that aren't facing the best competition. BJ is currently in there shoes. I don't care if the UFC and another promotion loan out fighters like in the PRIDE days. Something needs to happen.
Five of the top 10 Lightweight fighters in the world are currently fighting outside of*the UFC. Those fighters are Shinya Aoki, Eddie Alvarez, Tatsuya Kawajiri, Gilbert Melendez, and Mizuto Hirota. Of those names, Shinya Aoki and Eddie Alvarez stand out.
While UFC fans have been begging for years, both Alvarez and Aoki have still yet to come to the Octagon. Alvarez is the current Bellator Lightweight champion, winning the belt rather easily, disposing of all four of his opponents by submission. At just 26 years of age, there is still plenty of time for the UFC to place him in the cage, but I recommend they do that quickly.
Aoki was in a little hot water after his last fight for breaking the arm of Hirota. After the fight Aoki claimed he heard Hirota's arm popping and just decided to snap it. While that killer instinct is a bit disturbing, the UFC needs that*instinct if they expect someone to dethrone "The Prodigy". Aoki is also just 26 years old but once again, the UFC needs him. The fans need him too.
If the UFC wants to continue billing the lightweight division as competitive and entertaining, they need to actually start making it competitive and entertaining. As of right now, I am in no way entertained by this division anymore. While it's fun to watch little guys slug it out, there's no point when you know that the guys you're watching now would get killed if they fought the champ.