Anyone who follows MMA rankings knows all weight divisions sort easily into two categories. The first category is “static/boring/paper thing”. This usually happens when a champion manages to string together a few title wins. All the most dominant champions in MMA reign over “shallow“ or “boring“ divisions. Middleweight (shallow!). Welterweight (nothing but wrestlers!). Featherweight (now that Mike Brown lost again the whole division was always secretly crap).
The second category is “chaotic/out of control/blown wide open”. These usually happen once a dominant champion loses, or if there is a revolving door of champions winning and then losing the belt. As everyone knows, all it takes is one fight for a weight division to move from column A to column B, or vice versa. Weight classes currently in this category include Lightweight (enough #1 contenders to start a baseball team), Heavyweight (Brocklesnar lost), and biggest of all, Light-Heavyweight.
Strange as it seems, the UFC’s marquee division has been in a state of flux, arguably since Chuck Liddell lost his title to “Rampage” Jackson in 2007. Six different men have held the title since then. That’s six champions in a little under 4 years. I don’t think any other division of MMA can lay claim to that much craziness in the division’s top slot.
What’s worse, “Shogun” kicked off his title reign by injuring his knee and going once again under the knife. This unfortunate injury kept the champ on the sidelines for almost a year. In that time, the landscape of the LHW division has shifted dramatically, to say nothing of the veritable sea of former title holders looking to regain that top spot. With “Shogun” Rua and #1 contender Rashad Evans set to meet at UFC 128, here’s a look at the biggest, most relevant upcoming fights in the LHW division to see where the winners (and losers) stand in the UFC’s most chaotic weight class.