This Saturday, the UFC is putting on yet another double-header card that is stacked with great fighters from top to bottom. But this is not just another night of fights. This card brings some interesting perspective to the UFC divisions, and after the night is over, the UFC rankings and standings will have changed.

With every fight card, there is always a shift in rankings, since one fighter moves closer to a title while the other doesn’t. UFC 136 is composed of many very significant fights that will seriously affect the course of their respective divisions.

To start with the obvious, there are two titles on the line. The UFC lightweight and featherweight championships will be up for grabs on the same night. Gray Maynard, once again, will be coming to definitively win over Frankie Edgar, and Kenny Florian will attempt to steal the belt away from Jose Aldo.

Frankie Edgar is the phenom that exploded onto the championship circuit with his two victories over former champion B.J. Penn. The only man to have given Edgar significant trouble was Gray Maynard. This is the third time they will meet, and it will be the final decision of who is the better fighter in the lightweight division.

If Maynard wins, it brings a whole new dynamic to the division to have Edgar back in the hunt. It also brings about an 11-0 record for the challenger. If Edgar retains the title, he hands Maynard the first loss of his career and begins moving into the upper echelon of the best in the world. Now with Strikeforce lightweight kingpin Gilbert Melendez likely coming over to the UFC in the near future, a superfight may be in the works. With Melendez against Maynard, however, the hype isn’t as great.

Jose Aldo has been put at around the number three or four slots on the pound-for-pound lists for some time. He has defended his WEC title in the past and the UFC belt once. He will try to add another win to his championship run when he defends against Kenny Florian. The fight makes for a better statement for Aldo on the pound-for-pound lists if he rises victorious.

The co-main event is much more significant for Florian, however. He has notoriously been considered a gatekeeper in his fights at lightweight and most certainly doesn’t want to become one in his new weight class.

With many other fighters at featherweight who are looking for their shot, a loss in yet another championship fight would be very difficult for Florian and his career. If Florian wins, however, he pulls a huge upset and drops the young Brazilian from the top of the lists.

Arguably just as anticipated as any other fight on this card (maybe even more), Chael Sonnen will be facing off against Brian Stann. This is the return of Sonnen, since his loss to champion Anderson Silva in August of 2010. One of the most called for rematches of all time is between Silva and Sonnen. Due to their last fight, many feel Sonnen is the best 185-pounder to have a shot at dethroning the pound-for-pound king, but his welcome-back party is hosted by one dangerous Marine.

Stann is in a very interesting situation, since if he wins against Sonnen, he himself becomes the forefront of title contention talks. If he loses, he will have to wait a while for the shot again. If Sonnen loses, he immediately loses his chance at his rematch against Silva. Many fans are cheering for Sonnen, not against Stann, but because they want to see the rematch.

Chael Sonnen (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

If Sonnen wins, the media will instantly call for Silva vs. Sonnen II.

On the rest of the card, you have great fighters like Melvin Guillard. Guillard is a fighter that has dominantly been making a statement for a title shot for some time now and is very deserving of it. If he wins against Joe Lauzon on Saturday, he undeniably makes his point.

With a future addition of Melendez and other lightweights already in the division, Guillard may sit on the backburner a little while longer though. If he loses, he most certainly will be in that spot.

Nam Phan is on thin ice with this fight as well. He has lost two in a row so far, and if history has taught us anything, it’s that Phan will likely be gone by Monday if he loses. His opponent, Leonard Garcia, will be looking to show he definitively is the better of the two, and avoid taking a second loss in a row.

Demian Maia will be fighting to retain his relevance in the middleweight division, and Jorge Santiago will be looking to bounce back from his loss to Stann. Both need a win to stay in good terms with their division.

Lastly, Anthony Pettis will be looking to re-establish his hype on Saturday. His loss to Clay Guida brought upon some tarnish to the shiny fame he had from his “Showtime kick” on Ben Henderson. His hype came quickly, prematurely to some, but he wants to show that he isn’t a one-hit wonder. He will be looking to stop Jeremy Stephens’ two-fight winning streak and remake his image in the UFC.

After the night is over, the different divisions featured on the card will have changed drastically. Each fighter mentioned is in a position where a win is not just another win, but a crucial part of their career paths. There will certainly be a great deal of media following UFC 136, and it has the potential to give the MMA universe two new champions and the biggest middleweight rematch of all time.  That’s what makes this such an important event.

About The Author

Gregory Chase
Staff Writer

Gregory Chase is an MMA enthusiast and aficionado. He is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report (MMA), a Featured Columnist at Sports-at-Work, a Contributor for The MMA Corner, and is the Connecticut MMA Examiner for Examiner.com. Chase also trains in MMA, focusing on a mixture of striking disciplines, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He writes to promote thought, give perspective and provide a coherent analysis on topics, while maintaining a smooth read and educating/entertaining. He lives by his motto of “MMA: Live it. Breathe it.”