This is the deepest division in the UFC (or really in all of MMA) today. It’s incredibly deep, and a lot of people (me included) feel that the current LHW champ doesn’t deserve to be in that seat and won’t be there for long.
So who should get the next shot and who wins it?
Who is THE best in the LHW division right now, regardless of who holds the belt?
The legit top contenders for the title shot right now (in no particular order) are:
– Shogun – IF he comes back with a convincing win over a top-tier opponent, then he should be thought of as being right in there.
– MAYBE Rashad (but only if he beats Chuck tomorrow – not likely).
I think it’s a crying travesty that Rampage wasn’t given an immediate rematch given how stupidly close his fight with Forrest was, and the fact that lots of people, me included, had Rampage winning that fight any way you count it. (Let’s not get into rehashing the scoring of it again though). It would certainly still be a huge moneymaker – probably even moreso than their first fight. And if Rampage goes in with the mindset of actually FIGHTING, i.e. follows a sensible gameplan and shows some fucking AGGRESSION, it’s lights-out for Forrest.
Everyone says “Machida deserves a title shot, Machida deserves a title shot!” but I disagree. Yes, he’s undefeated, but he hasn’t fought a top-level opponent yet. With one more victory – this one over either Chuck, Rampage, Wanderlei or Shogun – THEN I’d say they should give him a shot.
Chuck – if you look at him ASIDE from all the other contenders – on paper probably deserves a shot, since he recently held the title for SO freakin’ long, and he will have now had two wins in a row, one of them over Wanderlei-fucking-Silva. BUT, if you look at him relative to the others in the division, he doesn’t deserve one more than, say, Rampage. So I see him as being next in line behind Rampage at this point.
And Shogun has to come in and beat at least one, maybe 2, top-tier opponents before he’s given a shot. He’s just been out of the whole picture too long, and his last fight was a loss. But everyone knows that, if he’s ever fully back on his game, he’s a pretty un-fucking-believable fighter and is as capable as anyone in that division.