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By: Chris Park, MMATorch UK Specialist
The introduction of the UFC's lighter weight classes will soon spark a stampede of fighters moving up, and more likely, down in weight as the options for smaller fighters are suddenly blown wide open.
While Jose Aldo may one day try his hand at 155 lbs. - which could eventually set up a super-fight with B.J. Penn or Frankie Edgar - be prepared for several lightweights on the roster to make the trip south in the not-so-distant future.
Tyson Griffin looked - at the very least - a full weight class smaller than Takanori Gomi when the Japanese star handed Griffin the first KO loss of his career back in August. Griffin now finds himself in lightweight limbo, and as a relatively small lightweight, we may next see the Xtreme Couture man in the featherweight division as he looks to halt a current two fight slide.
In contrast, reigning Lightweight Champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar is currently riding high at the top of the 155 lb. division. But Edgar doesn't cut much weight, if any at all, to satisfy the scales ahead of fight night, so his long-term future is now littered with options.
At this moment in time there is no reason for Edgar to even contemplate dropping down in weight, having defeated Penn twice in 2010 to win, and then retain, the Lightweight Championship. With an opportunity to avenge his sole career loss when he defends his title against Gray Maynard at UFC 125 on January 1, life is currently looking pretty good for the New Jersey native.
But the reality here is that Edgar could make the featherweight limit of 145 lbs. with very little effort, and in all likelihood could even make the cut for the bantamweight division. These are all options which "The Answer" will no doubt consider should he lose his title to "The Bully" on January 1.
With the WEC offering a whole world of options to the lighter weighing fighters, it is fair to say that the majority moving to the UFC will remain in their current divisions. There is now an opportunity in place for fighters, like Tyson Griffin, to revive their careers in these lighter ranks.
The likes of Joe Stevenson, Sean Sherk, and Clay Guida will no doubt keep a very close eye on developments as the featherweight division takes shape, while Britain's own Ross "The Real Deal" Pearson could also be tempted to make the move.
One fighter that could be called back into the UFC fold for a third time is Japanese star Caol Uno. Uno returned to the UFC in 2009 to take on Spencer Fisher at UFC 99 after a six-year absence. The comeback ended in defeat for Uno, who went on to draw with Fabricio Camoes before being stopped by Gleison Tibau back in March.
Despite being one of the most liked fighters in the game, this inconsistent run led to Uno's release from the UFC last April. The possibility of a new challenge at 145 lbs could be just the excuse needed for the UFC to bring him back to the big show once more.
Chris Park is the MMATorch UK Specialist and guest columnist at ESPN.co.uk. Please email any comments or questions to Chris at; email@example.com or look us up at http://www.facebook.com/mmatorchuk2 our new MMATorch Facebook home for UK Fans!
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