Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images
It wasn't that long ago when the UFC lightweight division was easy to figure out.
After that? Well, let's just say the division is up for grabs.
That's because Jim Miller, long thought to be the next in line for a crack at the crown, was handily defeated by Ben Henderson, a former champion in his own right, at last weekend's UFC on Versus 5 event in Milwaukee.
Does that make "Smooth" the number one contender?
Henderson's manager, Malki Kawa, tells TapouT Radio that "Bendo" is the number one contender and fighting Guida "makes sense" from a scheduling perspective:
"He's the number one contender in my opinion and there's no way anyone is gonna tell me different. This guy is the number one contender, hands down. Right now Melvin (Guillard) is locked up in a fight with Joe Lauzon so Melvin right now is not even on my radar at this point. For me to think he has to beat Clay and Melvin to get to a title well, he just beat a guy who was on a seven fight win streak, who beat everyone they put in front of him, and who Dana White came out and said 'if you win this fight you get a title shot.' I think right now it's the other way around. I think Clay and Melvin have to beat [Henderson] to get a title shot, not the other way around. Because of scheduling, Guida is the next fight on our radar ... If [Ben is] not going to fight for the title in his next fight, then I'm gonna ask the UFC to give us 'the' guy to beat."
Henderson (14-2) has one loss under the Zuffa umbrella, a high-profile drubbing at the hands of Anthony Pettis last December in the WEC's final event.
In fact, that loss, coupled with the fanfare of "The Showtime Kick," may be the only thing that is standing between him and the winner of Edgar vs. Maynard.
Pettis lost to Guida in his Octagon debut, making a rematch unlikely. That pretty much leaves "The Carpenter" as the next in line for Henderson.
Unless any Maniacs out there agree with Kawa and think he should go right to the top?