In terms of sheer numbers, the lightweight class is certainly UFC’s deepest after the merger with WEC.
The UFC Web site lists 46 lightweights (for comparison: 53 welterweights, 41 middleweights, 35 light heavies and 29 heavyweights). That’s an inexact measure — the site doesn’t always keep up with every roster change — but it gives us a ballpark idea of who’s in the Zuffa umbrella.
The WEC site lists 21 lightweights. (Aside on lower weights: They have 22 featherweights and only 18 bantamweights. Will the UFC bucks and brand name lure more fighters from overseas? The rankings suggest they have plenty of room to grow at featherweight, with only five of the top 11 currently with WEC, but the bantamweight pool isn’t as deep.)
So if no one is dropped, the UFC will have 67 lightweights. Make it 68, with Marcus Davis dropping down from 170.
With the help of Sherdog’s trusty Fight Finder, I’ve tried to compile everyone’s resumes. Please do speak up if I’ve made a mistake in transcribing or otherwise made a mess of things. I’ve only taken fighters listed on the UFC and WEC sites, though there may be a couple of fighters who are in contract limbo and could bounce back in at any moment.
Frankie Edgar: 13-1 overall, 8-1 UFC. Wins over Penn (2), Sherk, Griffin. Loss to Maynard, his next opponent.
2. BJ Penn: 15-7-1, 11-6-1 UFC. Had won five straight (incl. Stevenson, Sherk, Florian, Sanchez) at LW before losing twice to Edgar. Last four losses before Edgar had been at 170 or higher. Next fight at 170 vs. Matt Hughes.