Fans of the WEC immediately began screaming that Benson Henderson validated the skill of the entire organization at UFC 144. The new UFC lightweight champion did much more than that on Saturday night when he denied the always-thrilling Frankie Edgar a third successful title defense.
“The Answer” looked spectacular at UFC 144 right up until a vicious up-kick devastated him late in the second round. Although Edgar would rally to pick up the third round on the scorecards, the damage was done. With a badly swollen eye, the predicative ability that Frankie possesses appeared to be gone.
Now that the always-exciting lightweight division has a new champion, a lot of doors open up. Rising stars will continue to climb to the top. Big names of the past get an opportunity for another crack at the belt. The possibilities are limitless.
Let’s take a look at some of the top talent in the lightweight division, their current standing and what they need to do in order to earn a title shot in 2012.