UFC Lightweights: The Hankins Plan™
Now that we’ve had some distance from Maynard vs. Guida, it’s time to take a look at the top of the UFC Lightweight division, and make an attempt at figuring out how things fall out.
Unfortunately, things didn’t get clearer as they should have after the fight—they got muddled.
As I wrote previously, had Guida capitalized on the effectiveness of his gameplan, he could’ve beaten Maynard and we’d all be talking about how effective he was and what a challenge he would be to any fighter. I really think he would’ve shot up the ranks if he’d used Maynard’s frustration and attacked when he had the opportunity, but he kept dancing, and lost. It wasn’t like Guida got KO’d or even beaten handily, so he shouldn’t fall too far because of the result.
On the other hand, Maynard was taken out of his game by Guida, showed his frustration and failed to mount a truly effective offense. I can’t even tell you how much I wish his guillotine finished Guida after his Diaz-like frustration-borne walk through Guida’s punch!
I don’t think Maynard took a real step forward with the win. I’m not ready, based on that performance, to say he deserves a title shot. Not the next one, anyway.
Nate Diaz is it.
I think Nate Diaz is ready, and should get the next title shot. I wouldn’t be too disappointed if he were to fight Maynard next for the #1 contender, but I think his last few performances have moved him ahead of Maynard.
Pettis: odd man out.
Anthony Pettis, who I would have supported getting an immediate title shot when he came to the UFC from the WEC (boy, was I wrong on that…) is the odd man out here. And I’m OK with that. I don’t think he’s shown enough in the UFC, although post-Guida he has been impressing me more…
Let’s freeze things, right now and take a look at my concept of what should happen in the UFC lightweight division: The Hankins Plan™
Then, we’ll see where we’re at, and go from there. Obviously Guida will be waiting… Will Cerrone emerge as the force he looks to be? Who else will step up? The division is loaded with talent. It’s going to be a fun time finding out…