Along with the excitement announcement of today’s UFC/WEC merger, a lot of implications were made as to how the whole scheme of things would pan out for each respective champion.
Frankie Edgar, currently recognized as the UFC’s lightweight champion will be defending his title on January 1 at UFC 125 against rival Gray Maynard. Meanwhile, WEC lightweight champion Ben Henderson will look to defend his title for a second time when he squares up with the ultra-talented Anthony “Showtime” Pettis at WEC 53 in December.
So, what does it mean when you have two champions being absolved into one weight class?
Well, they would have to fight, of course.
Zuffa was bound to run into this problem sooner or later. A featherweight and bantamweight class did not exist prior to the merger, so to determine a “true champion” was never the case, until now.
Both fighters, Edgar and Henderson, have been dominant within their respective promotion’s, however will arguably face their toughest tests to date when they meet their adversaries, inching close to the new year and a new beginning.
Frankie Edgar, the reigning UFC lightweight champion will meet the only man to defeat him in his mixed martial arts career, undefeated wrestling powerhouse Gray Maynard. Maynard is recently coming off of a decision victory over former two-time title challenger Kenny Florian at UFC 118, in Florian’s own backyard.
Edgar, meanwhile, is coming off of his second consecutive victory over BJ Penn at UFC 118 as well, putting to bed any controversy that their original bout at UFC 112 garnered by thoroughly dominating Penn from bell to bell, en route to a unanimous decision victory, winning every round on the judges score cards.
Henderson has remained undefeated in his WEC career in his last performance, when he was able to submit the durable Donald Cerrone, inside of the first round of his first title defense at WEC 48 last April.
Pettis, is riding a three-fight win streak in the WEC promotion, none of which have gone the distance. After a shaky start in his lightweight match with powerful wrestler Shane Roller, Pettis was able to eventually submit the Texan with a third-round triangle choke, which set him up for his shot against Henderson.
The winner of each respective match up will vie the UFC’s undisputed title sometime in 2011, unifying the titles in what will turn out to be an exciting turn of events.
So, MMA peeps, what do you think of the news? Sound off in the comment section below.