UFC Lightweight : A different era of UFC

Various weight divisions exist within MMA& Lightweight Categories. A fighter may only weigh between 146 and 155 lb. to compete in the UFC Lightweight Division (66-70 kg). In between UFC Featherweight and Middleweight, divisions lie in the Lightweight category. Currently, the UFC Lightweight Division is among the most competitive in the organization. Some people think the future of the UFC lightweight division is grim, but now is not the time to look. Or even just in the near future. In my opinion, that is not the case.

UFC lightweight
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 06: (L-R) Kamaru Usman of Nigeria punches Colby Covington in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 268 event at Madison Square Garden on November 06, 2021, in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

True, no lightweight boxer has ever up to the challenge of replacing B.J. Penn, but those are
some rather large shoes to fill. It is difficult to find another fighter with the same blend of
personality and fan attraction that Penn brought into the Octagon, as Penn was one of the
UFC & is a real superstar and a major fan favorite.
Frankie Edgar was unable to accomplish so, losing twice to Penn and again to Gray Maynard in thrilling bouts. I’m aware that Maynard and Edgar have fought three times; but, the most recent two are the ones that matter.

If those bouts did establish Edgar as a UFC superstar, nothing would. Plenty of people liked
Edgar was champion because he was the underdog featherweight who kept winning against
almost insurmountable odds.

UFC lightweight
PHOENIX, ARIZONA – MAY 07: Charles Oliveira of Brazil prepares to fight Justin Gaethje (not pictured) in their UFC lightweight championship bout during UFC 274 at Footprint Center on May 07, 2022, in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Like a little Rocky, Edgar was unstoppable in his ability to regularly and repeatedly knock out much bigger opponents. Despite his many courageous bouts, he was never able to establish himself as a pay-per-view attraction.
But maybe it is not Edgar that& is the issue here, but rather the way was thinking about him.

Maybe we should worry so much about who becomes a pay-per-view attraction or who
clicks with the masses. Why do we waste time thinking about such trivial matters? I could
care less whether someone sells millions of pay-per-views or if they’re on the undercard of a Fuel TV card, and I highly doubt it has any impact on your bottom line, either.
Which begs the question: why should we care? If we really fight fans, why don’t we simply care about the bouts and the fighters? Isn’t it the main reason you spend three hours or more in front of the TV a couple of times a month?

Background on the Lightweight Division
The Lightweight Championship was formerly known as the Bantamweight Championship prior to UFC 31 in 2001. After Benson Henderson’s victory against Gilbert Melendez on April 20, 2013, it seemed that the Strikeforce Lightweight Title had been merged with the UFC Lightweight Title.

Frankie Edgar, Anthony Pettis, Rafael Dos Anjos, and Eddie Alvarez are just some of the fighters that have held the UFC Lightweight Title. Conor McGregor became the first fighter in UFC history to carry two titles concurrently when he defeated Eddie Alvarez by TKO to win the Lightweight Title at UFC 205.

Khabib Nurmagomedov won the Lightweight Championship at UFC 223 with a unanimous
decision victory against Al Iaquinta. Khabib successfully defended his championship three times against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gaethje, tying Benson Henderson for the record for most successful title defenses in the division.

UFC lightweight
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – NOVEMBER 14: (L-R) Rafael Dos Anjos of Brazil punches Paul Felder in a lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on November 14, 2020, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Though he said he was hanging up his gloves at UFC 254, he still has the belt. Dana White
announced Khabibs retirement and stripped him of his belt on March 18, 2021.

At UFC 262, Charles Oliveira fought Michael Chandler to win the UFC Lightweight Title. Despite defeating Dustin Gaethje at UFC 274, champion Charles Oliveira was disqualified for failing to meet weight requirements.
UFC 280 took place in Abu Dhabi, and the lightweight title was won by Islam Makhachev when he fought and defeated Charles Oliveira.


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