Hello MMAmaniacs, how are you doing? I hope your morning is going swimmingly well.
I am going to throw out there, that all I can own are my personal opinions, so here are a few of them in relation to the potential LW showdown between the new Lightweight Champion of the World Benson Henderson and Anthony "Showtime" Pettis who just blasted his way through Joe Lauzon on the same action-packed PPV card that took place this weekend in Japan.
Let's get rolling with why this fight should happen, for this side of the argument I would personally have to gear up my opinions regarding how I believe Dana White thinks. Mr. White is in the business of selling fights. Think about how he quickly disagreed with the Henderson/Edgar judging, in my opinion that could have been a way to connect with a certain fan base while throwing the door wide open to an immediate Edgar rematch.
Dana White is very effective at making the UFC product the best in the business as well as hyping opponents who aren't always the most qualified match-ups for title shots (I'm sure we all remember at least one fight where we fell victim to the hype-machine). So, what are my thoughts regarding how difficult it would be to sell the Anthony Pettis fight? Take a look after the jump.Anthony Pettis just came off of a blistering KO against Joe Lauzon. It was an exciting finish, he pushes the pace, and is just fun to watch. He's a young talented guy and of course we all know that he's the last person to have notched a win against Benson Henderson back in the WEC for the LW Championship. There is a ton of potential to sell this fight right off the bat, it's a rematch of sorts, a chance for Pettis to prove he belongs amongst the elite of the UFC LW Division as well as a chance for Henderson to redeem himself with a win against Showtime. Both of these fighters are coming off of wins during the same card, so timing couldn't be more perfect. Neither of them appeared to take much damage in their respective fights as well, which also works in the favor of timing.
I believe this fight would be relatively easy to hype. It's all already there, pre-made and pre-packaged, Pettis is gunning for the belt, motioning for it after his recent KO of Lauzon, he has been anything but shy about his intentions, he wants the UFC LW Championship belt, and he wants to take it from Benson Henderson. I think this fight would be a win for the fans with regards to excitement and a big win for Pettis with the huge jump up in competition. Now, the other side of the coin, would this title shot be deserved?
I would have to side initially with Benson Henderson on this. I feel that when you're looking at UFC fighting resumes, Ben Henderson's is strong, he's got a lot of momentum behind him and he's now on top of the world in his weight class. I would love to see him in exciting title fights against game opponents. So, how does Pettis' resume look currently. Objectively I would have to say it's not strong enough at the current moment (keeping in mind we all know that he beat Henderson back in the WEC).
I think that if Pettis could prove himself against a wrestler in the division I would be far more sold on him being a legitimate contender. I was immediately calling for him to fight Maynard this weekend when I saw him motioning for the belt. I'd also love to see Pettis take on Frankie Edgar or Jim Miller (if he wasn't tied up with Nate Diaz). We all know that Pettis was overwhelmed by Guida in his UFC debut which left me wondering whether he can truly hang with the wrestlers in the UFC.
Now let's not get ahead of ourselves if you're a big Pettis fan. Do I think Henderson/Pettis would be exciting to watch? Absolutely. Do I think that Pettis would have a shot at winning the title? Of course, this is MMA the great sport that we love, and as announcers like to say 'that's why they play the game', or in this case that's why we would lock the cage door and let these two world class athletes compete.
I'd love to see Pettis notch a legitimate top 10 win in the UFC LW division before getting a title shot, of course the timing is perfect right now. So if we're interested in this matchup, timing really is important, and there is likely not going to be a time as sweet for this particular fight in the future. So in closing? Let's hear your collective thoughts again maniacs, but I wouldn't mind seeing this fight on the June/July card this summer. What are your thoughts?