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Lightweight log jam has the division in a Holding Pattern

October 8th, 2011 is a day every UFC lightweight should have etched in their heads with anticipation. For two of these lightweights, that’s the date of their UFC lightweight championship bout. For the rest of the division, the day will hopefully bring an end to the nearly 22 month holding pattern in the division.

At UFC 136 on October 8th, the lightweight title will be on the line for only the fourth time since December of 2009, involving just three different fighters. It all started out with the back to back fights between then champ, B.J.Penn and current champ, Frankie Edgar. Edgar then moved on to face the #1 contender Gray Maynard in December 2010, where the two fought to a five round draw, forcing an immediate rematch. Injuries have pushed that rematch back and if the stars finally align the two will face off on October 8th.

While the three have been battling over the lightweight belt, the rest of the fighters in the division have been trying to put themselves in the best possible position. Several fighters have benefitted from the situation, positioning themselves in a great spot for a title shot. While others like Anthony Pettis haven’t been so lucky and ultimately might have lost their shot at the title.

From the top to the bottom, the entire lightweight division has felt the affects of the log jam.

Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) – The champ will be taking on Gray Maynard in a rematch of their new years day UFC 125 epic draw. The UFC 136 bout will be the third title defense for Edgar and the third fight with Maynard. In fact, Edgar’s lone blemishes to his nearly perfect record come from his opponent.

Gray Maynard (10-0-1) – The only man to defeat the champion, Maynard will look to do it again on October 8th and become UFC lightweight champion. Maynard nearly finished Edgard in the opening round of their draw but the champ showed that champions heart to force a draw.

Note: With this being the third fight between the two, unless there is another draw there won’t be a rematch or the rematch.

Anthony Pettis (13-2) – The last man to hold the WEC lightweight belt, Pettis was scheduled to face the winner of Edger vs. Maynard 2. The draw and subsequent injuries before the third meeting pushed the fight back and Pettis risked it all against Clay Guida. The move back fired and Guida defeated Pettis by unanimous decision at the TUF 13 finale. The defeat will not get him that title shot he earned and will now face Jeremy Stephens at UFC 136, needing to win to start the climb back to the top.

Jim Miller (20-2) – Miller is on a seven fight winning streak and overall is 9-1 in the UFC, with that lone loss coming against Gray Maynard back at UFC 96. Miller is schedule to face the former WEC champion Ben Henderson at this weekend’s UFC live: Hardy vs. Lytle. A win over a former champion and eight in a row should be enough to earn Miller a title shot.

Hungry Guida 317x200 Lightweight log jam has the division in a Holding Pattern

Guida is on the doorsteps of a title shot

Clay Guida (29-11) – The energizer bunny and reeled off four consecutive wins following his victory over Anthony Pettis. Guida is a fan favorite and coming off a win against the man who was in line for a title shot puts him in the mix. Should Miller win on Sunday, a number one contender’s match containing Guida just feels right.

Melvin Guillard (29-8-2, 1nc) – Coming off back to back first round knockouts, Guillard is currently on a five fight winning streak. It seems Guillard has put it all together since joining Greg Jackson’s camp in New Mexico at the beginning of 2010. Next up for “The Young assassin” is Joe Lauzon at UFC 136 on the same card as Edgar vs. Maynard. An impressive win and things fall into place just right, Guillard could find himself next in line at 155 pounds.

Knock on wood, but it finally appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel for the lightweight division.

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Tags: Anthony Pettis, Clay Guida, Exclusive, Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Jim Miller, Lightweight, Melvin guillard, MMA, UFC, UFC 136, UFC Live: Hardy vs Lytle

Category: Exclusive, Featured, MMA, UFC

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