Top 10 in the UFC Lightweight division
Everybody loves the 155 pounders. They rarely put on a disappointing fight in addition to being a VERY deep class.
In alphabetical order, let's talk about who I would consider the Top 10. Hopefully by the end of the article you realize just how many young superstars the UFC has at 155. I'm going to skip our current champ, Sean Sherk. Everybody knows his legal problems. If you don't, there have been plenty of threads in the UFC forum dedicated to it.
Coming off a huge win over Spencer Fisher, I would put Edgar right there with Kenny Florian as guys that could see a title shot coming in 2008. Besides Sherk, could have the best wrestling ability at 155. He impressed me with his standup ability in the Fisher fight.
Loves to stand up and trade with anybody. Always puts on an entertaining fight. My question mark with Fisher is whether Miletich's camp is going to suffer any with the loss of Hughes' crew. He'll need a good showing in his next fight for my doubts there to go away.
Got destroyed by Sherk in late 2006, but still a force to contend with. I'd love to see him fight Edgar to see who gets a title shot after the BJ/Stevenson/Sherk mess gets taken care of. This guy doesn't have a lot of fans though, I think the image a lot of people can't shake out of their head is him grabbing the fence repeatedly in one of his fights.
Right up there with Sherk and Edgar as far as wrestling ability goes. The guy is only 23 years old, he has plenty of time to work with Couture's camp to develop his overall game. Griffin is a future champ at 155 in my opinion, the sky is the limit.
Captain Caveman, Mr. Unlucky, whatever you want to call him, you have to respect his ability in the octagon. Huge opportunity at the upcoming UFNL to beat UFC Posterboy Roger Huerta. Guida is known for his nonstop pace for 15 minutes. The guy is a cardio machine.
Huerta's undefeated record in the UFC is impressive, but has the guy really been challenged yet? He hasn't fought anybody in the top tier at 155. His fight with Garcia was awesome... but who has Garcia beaten? Nobody. Garcia lost to Cole Miller from TUF. Huerta's most impressive name win might be Matt Wiman, 2 years ago. What makes the Guida-Huerta fight in a few weeks so awesome is that it's arguably a must win fight for BOTH guys. Guida can't afford another loss to another top guy and Huerta needs a big win to prove he belongs in the discussion with guys like Florian, Fisher and Edgar.
The first guy that people may have a problem with me putting in my Top 10. Another youngster, the guy's only 23 and already has a win over former champ Jens Pulver. He's shown he has a desire to better his game by wanting to train in Hilo with BJ Penn and his crowd. Combines aggressive striking and G&P with an improving submission game. I can't wait to see him take on one of the top guys.
The Prodigy. I'll go on record right now and say that nobody at 155 can beat a 100% BJ Penn. The problem with BJ is that he's come into fights in the past at less than 100%. Does going for the 155-pound belt motivate BJ enough to train his butt off, come out and dominate people? We'll see.
Besides Sherk, arguably the strongest guy at 155. His stand-up striking isn't great. There are a few guys at 155 that I would absolutely call better strikers. He isn't the best BJJ guy at 155. Joe Daddy's got a very good overall game though. A lot of guys don't give him a chance against BJ... not me. I don't think Joe is scared of BJ's striking. Unless BJ catches him in a submission, I think it will be a close fight that should go 5 rounds and end in decision.
The other guy that I suspect people will question me putting into the Top 10. For me this is more about potential than anything. Sam Stout and Tyson Griffin training together at Couture's gym should be a scary thought for other fighters. If each of these guys can improve the other's weaknesses, watch out. I love watching Stout fight... and again, the dude is only 23 years old!!
Note: I didn't include Din Thomas because nobody knows how long he will be on the shelf.