Expect Zombie vs. Lamas to be announced shortly for a May 2013 event
Just days after Jose Aldo made the sixth consecutive successful defense of his featherweight title he was already gifted with a new challenger to focus on. It was announced that Anthony "Showtime" Pettis would make the move down to 145 to challenge Aldo in a fight that on paper reeks of excitement and flare. Unfortunately for fans, and Pettis, this fight will not take place until August 3rd. Regrettably for Ricardo Lamas and The Korean Zombie, this means they need to continue working before getting a shot at that strap. So what does the UFC do with Lamas, Zombie and the rest of the cream of the crop at the top of the divsiion while Aldo continues to take on the best lightweights in the world? Chad Mendes recently tweeted at Ricardo Lamas to challenge him to a true #1 contenders duel. Lamas replied to Mendes' tweet saying that he has already accepted a fight for May, one that he's unable to announce at this very moment. One can only assume that Lamas' opponent will be the Korean Zombie for a shot at the winner of Aldo vs. Pettis. That is of unless another lightweight decides to drop and fight Aldo before Lamas and Zombie ever get a shot. So who does poor Chad Mendes get next? How about a rematch with Cody McKenzie or Yaotzin Meza? Maybe Jason Young or Leonard Garcia are available? Hopefully, instead of another can, Mendes gets an actual opponent at 145 that can hang with him for at least a couple of minutes. With a combined record of 3-0 since moving down to featherweight, Nik Lentz or Clay Guida could do the trick and give Mendes an actual challenge. Cub Swanson and Dustin Poirier will do battle in London this weekend as part of the UFC on Fuel TV 7 card inside of London's Wembley Arena. Poirier replaces the injured Denis Siver in a bout on paper that went from awesome to awesomer. While a title shot may not be in the cards for the winner of this one anytime soon, a fight of the night bonus check and a hearty pat on the back could always boost each mans morale moving forward. Despite being treated like a step child by Ricardo Lamas on national television, Erik Koch still remains a factor in the 145 pound division. Fighter like Diego Nunes and Hatsu Hioki haven't really lived up to the hype since joining the UFC feathweight roster. A win over Erik Koch would give each man a career resurgence, and would give us fans one hell of a show.
Last but certainly not least, lets not forget about Frankie Edgar. The "Toughest Kid from the Garden State" had a storybook start to this decade. He followed up beating the best lightweight in the world twice with a couple of crazy comebacks against Gray Maynard that eventually ended with "The Answer" knocking out "The Bully" to retain his title. Then along came Benson Henderson. Two fights later and "The Smooth One" would send Edgar directly down to the featherweight division. How quickly things can change in this sport.
While his debut at featherweight ended in impressive fashion, a loss is a loss. And for Frankie Edgar, that's three in a row. Edgar is now 3-3-1 in UFC title fights and he shouldn't see anymore for at least a year or two. I'd love to see the winner of this weekends co-main event between Cub Swanson and Dustin Poirier next for Edgar.