No more rematches at 155, please.

To lay it out honestly, the UFC’s lightweight division has been clogged ever since UFC 112. It was in Abu Dhabi where Frankie Edgar took the title from B.J. Penn, and what followed was rematch after rematch, and a busy lightweight division where everyone was looking for their crack at the title, but only a select few were realizing that dream…over and over again.

Two fights between Edgar and Penn, two between Edgar and Gray Maynard, and this Saturday will be the second fight scheduled between Edgar and the new champion, Ben Henderson. It’s not that rematches are bad for the sport, rather it’s that the entire lightweight division has been in a holding pattern because of the fact that the guy at the top has had to defend his title against the guy from the previous fight now in three consecutive sets of bouts.

When it comes down to it, the reason for the clogged division is a result of the guys running the show granting the rematches. Sure, the first Penn vs. Edgar fight was close, and Maynard fought his way to a draw, but isn’t UFC President Dana White the guy who consistently says, “Don’t leave it in the hands of the judges”?

Let’s play the hypothetical game, where we change the results of things a little bit. If Edgar had knocked out Penn at UFC 112, “The Prodigy” wouldn’t have gotten an immediate rematch. If “The Bully” had closed out that first round at UFC 125, there wouldn’t have been a rematch. The main event at UFC 150 wouldn’t be the second title fight between Henderson and “The Answer” if “Smooth” had ended the fight in the fourth round.

The common link here is that Penn, Maynard, and Edgar didn’t win their respective fights. Sure, they were all close decisions, but they didn’t win. They left the fight in the hands of the judges and were on the wrong end of the deal.

Just like how giving a forgetful student a pencil every day that they leave theirs at home, the UFC has been negatively reinforcing exactly what White preaches against. The fighters lacked killer instinct to close out the fight, and yet were rewarded with a rematch as a result.

Regardless of who wins this weekend, there should not be another rematch. Nate Diaz is waiting for the next shot at the title, the same way that Anthony Pettis was waiting for it back at UFC 125. The UFC needs to take out the plunger and unclog this jam, because rewarding all of these fighters with rematches is doing a disservice to arguably the most exciting division in the game right now.

Photo: Frankie Edgar (L) (Esther Lin/MMA Fighting)

About The Author

Brian McKenna
Staff Writer

Brian McKenna was born and raised in the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts. A sports nut from as long as he can remember, he came to be a fan of Mixed Martial Arts from a roommate watching The Ultimate Fighter while attending Westfield State College. Brian came to writing by starting his own blog, Four Down Territory, which focuses on Boston based sports, life, and of course MMA.