WEC/UFC Merger: Pettis Gets Title Shot, What About The Other Top Lightweights?

Andrew MahlmannCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2010

CHICAGO - OCTOBER 25:  Sean Sherk (L)  fights Tyson Griffin in a Lightweight bout at UFC's Ultimate Fight Night at Allstate Arena on October 25, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)
Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

After defeating Benson Henderson at WEC 53, Anthony Pettis earned a shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship.  But what about the other top lightweights coming in from the WEC to the UFC?

The lightweight division is the one division that the UFC and WEC shared, so now with the merger, it makes for an interesting influx and convergence of talent.

After the WEC 53, it is clear that the top lightweight talent from the WEC (behind the aforementioned Pettis) is Benson Henderson, Donald Cerrone, and Shane Roller.  

So what can the UFC do with these incredible talents?  The following are what I feel are the best match-ups to be made.

1.  Benson Henderson VS Kenny Florian

The common ground is that they have experience in multiple title fights and both men are coming off of high profile decision losses.

Florian is a company man and has already earned a name for himself as the UFC's unofficial welcoming committee for the lightweight division.

2.  Donald Cerrone VS Nick Lentz

Cerrone has called out Cole Miller, and that is a fight I want to see, but Miller is already booked up.

Nick Lentz is a perfect 5-0 in the UFC, but his last decision victory was an undeserving gift from the judges.  It is fitting that Lentz's reward for his last fight be the dangerous Cerrone.

3.  Shane Roller VS Mac Danzig

Both men are coming off of impressive first-round finishes against high-quality competition.  It would be a 'pick-em' fight with no clear favorite.  

The winner will be blessed with a worthy feather in their cap.


4.  Jamie Varner VS Tyson Griffin

Poor guys.  Griffin and Varner have both had a tough run of luck lately, after having previously had considerable notoriety.  

5.  Kamal Shalorus VS Mark Bocek

Elite wrestler vs elite Brazilian jui-jitsu practioner.  Which grappler has evolved their style better and ready for the next level of competition?

6.  Bart Palaszewski VS Rafael Dos Anjos

Two scrappy and dangerous fighters looking to get back on track.  Should be a lot of fun.

7.  Chris Horodecki VS Edson Barboza

Young kick-boxing talents going to war.