In the ever evolving 155-pound weight class, one thing remains constant: BJ Penn continues to reign as the King of The Mountain.
"The Prodigy" captured the UFC Lightweight Championship in January, 2008 from Joe Stevenson and has been tearing through the lightweight division since, easily dispatching of top contenders Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez.
While Penn was busy cleaning out the top challengers for his Championship, two fighters have continued to make their name in the division.
The first, Gray Maynard, was a standout on BJ Penn’s Ultimate Fighter Season 5 team and the second is Tom River, New Jersey’s very own Frankie Edgar.
Following Gray Maynard’s controversial split decision victory over Nate Diaz at Ultimate Fight Night 20, MMAFighting.com caught up with Dana White .
The main topic discussed was the dilemma over who is rightfully the next contender for Lightweight Champion BJ Penn. In the interview Dana White stated that he didn’t believe Gray Maynard was 100 percent ready to face the champion and that Frankie Edgar would be the next challenger for Penn.
Maynard fans would argue that his victory over Edgar at Ultimate Fight Night 13 would automatically place him ahead in the title picture, but clearly White disagrees. If we take one thing from this, it's the importance of not only being victorious, but looking impressive in doing so.
The Edgar-Penn bout is tentatively scheduled to take place on April 10, 2010 at UFC 112.
This main-event bout will compliment a bout between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort for the Middleweight belt as well as a "battle of legends" between Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie.
With UFC 111 and UFC 112 both boasting two title fights, the UFC looks to be back in business after a less then star studded finish to 2009.