Lightweightpalooza: The 60-something UFC/WEC fighters now joined by merger

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.

Rankings, of course, are from the USA TODAY/SB Nation consensus calculation.


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.

Continue reading Lightweightpalooza: The 60-something UFC/WEC fighters now joined by merger

Midweek Myriad: PanPac swimming, Diamond League finals

Yes, I’m spending some time away from the computer this week. Coincidentally, I’m pondering a remake of The experimental phase should be at an end soon; the question is what follows.

This is an unusually busy midweek for Myriad sports — CONCACAF Champions League group stage games, UEFA Champions League playoffs featuring teams you might be able to find on a map, plus the culmination of some swimming and track and field seasons.

Track and field: The Weltklasse Zurich meet wraps up roughly half of the Diamond League events. The shot putters got an early start. The rest of the meet is Thursday on Universal Sports online. Events to watch: men’s long jump (Dwight Phillips leads but hasn’t clinched), women’s 400 (Allyson Felix, who has clinched 200, leads here as well) and women’s long jump (Brittney Reese has narrow lead) . You’ll also see victory laps for Jeremy Wariner (men’s 400), David Oliver (men’s 110 hurdles) and Carmelita Jeter (women’s 100). The most curious event is the men’s 200, where runaway leader Walter Dix has withdrawn, leaving Wallace Spearmon a chance to clean up.

Swimming: The Pan Pacific Championships — mostly USA, Australia, Japan, Canada and South Korea, but with a handful of people from non-Pacific places like South Africa — are on Universal Sports and Swim Network.

Soccer: Seeing Joe Public FC play at home in Trinidad carries a reminder of a sad incident in international youth soccer. The stadium is named for Marvin Lee, a Trinidad & Tobago Under-20 player who was paralyzed in a collision during a game and died a couple of years later. The player with whom he collided — Landon Donovan.

MMA: Sorry for the lack of advance warning, but you’ll want to get to a TV now to see WEC on Versus. Dominick Cruz and Joseph Benavidez are in the main event.

Could judges have botched the Aldo-Faber fight?

They didn’t, of course — no one who saw the WEC Amp Energy featherweight title bout last night would have any doubt about the winner of the fight. The guy who walked out without a scratch (Jose Aldo) rightfully kept the belt. The guy who was carried back to his corner and was doubled over in pain from being used as a kickboxing bag (Urijah Faber) lost a lopsided decision.

But if a couple of judging trends had continued, Faber could’ve taken an absurd victory despite Aldo’s domination in everyone’s eyes and in the FightMetric stats. Those trends are:

1. Reticence to give 10-8 rounds unless someone is gushing blood. Round 4 was all Aldo. He knocked Faber down, worked for submission attempts (not credited at FightMetric) and pummeled him. Round 3 wasn’t much better for Faber. But one judge scored the fight 50-45, either giving a very rare 10-10 round somewhere or scoring all five rounds 10-9. (The other cards were 49-45, most likely one 10-9 for Faber, three 10-9s for Aldo and one 10-8.)

2. Lack of interest in leg kicks. Judge Cecil Peoples justified the decision in favor of Lyoto Machida over Shogun Rua in part by shrugging off Rua’s leg kicks, saying they don’t finish a fight. The typical response: Maybe a leg kick isn’t as potent as a power shot to the head, but they add up. Faber would surely agree. But if you have little interest in leg kicks, you probably wouldn’t give a 10-8 to Aldo in any round, and you might even give Round 2 to Faber.

3. Giving the “busier” fighter the edge in a close round. A couple of people I follow on Twitter, including the UFC feed with guest Twitster/popular fighter Kurt Pellegrino, gave Round 1 to Faber. The FightMetric stats also tilt toward Faber for that round. I gave it to Aldo because I thought his shots were more effective, something FightMetric isn’t designed to measure.

I gave Round 5 to Faber because Aldo was clearly on cruise control and hardly threw a thing. Faber was pressing the action as best he could with two badly battered legs among his injuries.

So if you give Aldo 10-9 scores in Rounds 3 and 4 because Faber’s face was still intact, if you shrug off the leg kicks and give Faber Round 2, and if you give Rounds 1 and 5 to Faber … voila! Faber wins 48-47!

Obviously, that shouldn’t have happened. And it didn’t. The judges made the right call. But judging is something that has to be continually monitored so that a different group of judges watching roughly the same fight doesn’t get it horribly wrong.

Friday Myriad: Get your track shoes and chess pieces

Don’t let the volcano or blown calls get you down. All times ET, which seems appropriate given the birth of new I-95 rivalries in MLS and WPS this weekend.


Penn Relays, featuring the “USA vs. The World” events, will have a same-day delay broadcast, 8 p.m. ET Sat., ESPN2

The Drake Relays also will have their big names competing Saturday, though they’ve already seen a meet record with U.S. champion Diana Pickler in the heptathlon.

Also the first official IAAF event of the season, the Dakar Grand Prix on Saturday.

Two marathons Sunday: London and Madrid. London will be broadcast on Universal Sports.


The World Championship match between champion Vishy Anand and challenger Veselin Topalov starts Saturday morning. Grandmaster Ian Rogers, writing for the USCF’s Chess Life Online, provides a helpful and witty guide to following the event.


Some other writer wrote a preview of WEC’s first pay-per-view card at 10 p.m. ET Saturday. Spike will have two prelims at 9 p.m. The main event has two of the most exciting fighters in the world — featherweight champion Jose Aldo vs. former champion Urijah Faber. There’s also a lightweight title fight rematch between Ben Henderson and Donald Cerrone, plus a compelling featherweight matchup with former champion Mike Brown facing Manny Gamburyan.


Now would be a good time to mention the World’s Greatest Football Fan contest, complete with video from one “Cobi J.” Good thing to fill out while you’re agonizing over your favorite team in the stretch run this weekend.

The key German and French games aren’t televised this week.

England (3 games left; Chelsea lead Man U by 1)

For fourth place: Tottenham (64) and Man City (62) have game in hand over Aston Villa (61).

Relegation race: Bolton (35), Wigan (35), Wolves (34) near safety. West Ham (31) on bubble. Current relegation zone is Hull (28), Burnley (27) and Portmouth (farewell).

  • Tottenham-Manchester United, 7:30 a.m. Sat., ESPN2: For the second straight week, Manchester United carries its title hopes against a team fighting for the final Champions League berth.
  • West Ham-Wigan, 10 a.m. Sat., FSC: Vital for West Ham (Jonathan Spector).
  • Hull-Sunderland, 10 a.m. Sat., Fox Soccer Plus: Hull (Jozy Altidore) are in worse shape.
  • Arsenal-Manchester City, 12:30 p.m. Sat., FSC: The Gunners are pretty well stuck in third after collapsing last week; Man City still wants that Champions League berth.
  • Everton-Fulham, 9:55 a.m. Sun.: Everton (Tim Howard) still in the mix for a European spot; Fulham (Clint Dempsey) might want to cool the jets in the Premier League and focus on that second Europa League semifinal leg.
  • Chelsea-Stoke, 11 a.m. Sun., FSC: Possible lead change?

Spain (5 games left; Barcelona lead Real Madrid by 1)

  • Barcelona-Xerez, noon Sat., GolTV
  • Real Zaragoza-Real Madrid, 2 p.m. Sat., ESPN3

Italy (4 games left; Roma lead Inter by 1 and AC Milan by 7)

  • Inter Milan-Atalanta, noon Sat., Fox Soccer Plus
  • Palermo-AC Milan, 2:30 p.m. Sat., FSC
  • Roma-Sampdoria, 2:30 p.m. Sun., FSC


  • Cup final: Aris-Panathinaikos, 1:30 p.m. Sat., untelevised: Trophy for Eddie and Freddy?

More global listings at Soccer America.


New FC Dallas technical director Barry Gorman has already paid dividends for the Hooray Beers. He coached Jason Yeisley at Penn State, and Yeisley made the difference last night with a textbook … dive. (See the currently non-embeddable video.) Jeff Cunningham made his second PK of the night and Dallas got a draw with the unlucky Seattle Sounders.

The weekend (home teams first; all games Saturday except the last):

  • New York (3-1-0) – Philadelphia (1-2-0), 4 p.m., TeleFutura
  • New England (2-2-0) – Colorado (2-1-1), 7:30 p.m., DK/MLSS: Better matchup than you might have thought a month ago.
  • Columbus (1-0-1) – Salt Lake (2-1-0), 7:30 p.m., DK/MLSS: Past two MLS champs meet as RSL continues brutal early schedule.
  • Kansas City (2-1-0) – Los Angeles (4-0-0), 8:30 p.m., DK/MLSS: Good test for Galaxy’s streak.
  • Chicago (1-2-1) – Houston (2-1-1), 8:30 p.m., DK/MLSS
  • Chivas USA (1-3-0) – San Jose (2-1-0), 10:30 p.m., FSC
  • Toronto (1-3-0) – Seattle (2-1-2), 2 p.m. Sun., DK/MLSS: Temperamental TFC vs. some angry Sounders. Yikes.

D.C. United is the idle team this week. Not exactly sure why.


  • FC Gold Pride (1-1-0) – Atlanta (0-1-1), 10 p.m. Sat.: Fun fact – Atlanta keeper Allison Whitworth leads the league with 19 saves. Second place is Hope Solo with 12. Expansion defenses are fun!
  • Philadelphia (0-0-2) – Washington (1-1-0), 6 p.m. Sun.: Abby Wambach was WPS player of the week with a goal and two assists for the Freedom.
  • Chicago (0-1-1) – Sky Blue (1-1-0), 6 p.m. Sun.: Facing each other for the second time already. First game was 1-0 Sky Blue in their Jersey home.
  • St. Louis (1-0-1) – Boston (1-0-1), 6 p.m. Sun., FSC, Webcast, iPhone: Looks like the only way to make this more readily available would be to beam it directly into your head. Coincidentally, these teams are tied for first in the early going.


  • Athens Twilight Criterium, Saturday: Not a major event, but it draws a few good riders and will bring back pleasant memories for all us former Athens residents.
  • Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Sunday: Classic ride through Belgium and one of the last big rides before the Giro d’Italia. Among the riders: Alberto Contador, Cadel Evans, Christian Vande Velde, Chris Horner, Andreas Kloden, Yaroslav Popovych. Earlier this week at La Fleche Wallonne, Evans beat Joaquin Rodriguez and Contador in the final sprint, with Horner 7th. On Versus May 1.


Super Six super middleweight tournament continues: Carl Bloch vs. Mikkel Kessler, 9 p.m. ET Sat., Showtime

Heavyweights Cristobal Arreola vs. Tomasz Adamek, main event on 11:15 p.m. ET Sat. HBO card


Four ongoing events this weekend

  • Equestrian, Rolex Three-Day Event, Lexington, Ky., Universal Sports
  • Canoe-Kayak, U.S. flatwater national team trials, Chula Vista, Calif.
  • Wrestling, U.S. Championships, Cleveland,
  • Women’s college gymnastics, NCAA championships, Gainesville, Fla., NCAA/CBS College Sports


  • Fed Cup semifinals, USA vs. Russia, 2/4 p.m. Sat., 2/4/6 p.m. Sun., Tennis Channel
  • ATP Barcelona: semifinals 7:30/10 a.m. Sat., final 10 a.m. Sun., Tennis Channel: David Ferrer, Robin Soderling among quarterfinalists.


  • Several bowlers from the PBA Tour, whose season is over, are competing in the Japan Cup.