I feel when describing a division in the UFC, using the word "stacked" is like describing one of your buddies as "genius." It's extremely overused and therefore doesn't hold the same... weight, pun sort of intended.
*Sorry (insert name of your buddy), you may be a fairly smart individual, but there are statistically very few geniuses in the world and your idea about creating a necklace out of Slim Jims sounds awesome - and delicious - but it needs a little work before I invest.
For years it was all about the heavyweights (206 pounds and above) and currently the division may look stacked on paper -- damn, I said "stacked," didn't I? -- probably because you recognize a ton of the names, but that's simply because you've been watching these guys fight for years and years.
Forty-two, 38, 36... I'm not naming my uncle's pants sizes. These are the ages of some of the stars of the heavyweight division. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is under the age of 32 in the current top 10, not to mention their biggest draw, Brock Lesnar, hasn't fought in four years. Times have changed, and we've seen a resurgence in almost every division, including both the relatively new and ever-growing female divisions.
Now, I've always been a huge fan of Dustin "The Diamond" Poirier, especially since moving back up to lightweight.
After a big first-round KO at a PPV like UFC 199, I wanted to see where they were going to have him ranked, so once the rankings were released, I excitedly ran to check the UFC site. My first reaction was "NINTH?!? That's it?!?" Then took a second gander to try and check out some of these jokers they dare rank in front of my boy...
Holy sh*t. My mistake. No wonder he's ninth, this division is LOADED. Any one of those fighters could and should be the champion. I love this division, hell, If this division was an apartment, I'd move in.
Here are just a few of the standouts in the division I can see wearing gold sometime soon:
Edson Barboza at No. 6
After making Anthony Pettis look more like Cinemax than Showtime -- ooh, network burn! -- it's clear that Barboza may use his devastating kicks to chop down the division one at a time.
Nate Diaz at No. 5
Now seeing Nate's name, you're probably saying...
If he runs through McGregor a second time, which given a full camp this time around, why wouldn't he? You got to think he's hankering to avenge his loss to current champion Dos Anjos and finally bring UFC gold back to the 209.
Tony Ferguson at No. 3
In my humble opinion, the greatest non-title fight the UFC put together this year was Furguson vs. Khabib (not even trying to spell his last name). Broke my heart to hear Tony had to drop out due to injury, but let's not forget how dominate this guy can be in the Octagon. Just watch his nasty submission victory over Edson Barboza, one of the other beasts I mentioned earlier.
Ranked just above Tony, there's the 23- 0 Khabib Nurmagomedov (I looked up how to spell it this time)
Eddie Alvarez, who's held a belt in every other promotion he's fought in.
Then there is the guy who sent Benson Henderson packing, knocked Cowboy Cerrone into a different division, annihilated the leg and confidence of Nate Diaz and showed us that Anthony Pettis did not deserve to be on a Wheaties box.
Ladies and gentlemen, Rafael Dos Anjos is the lightweight champion and could be for a very long time. I'm not even mentioning the fact that Conor McGregor is toying with stepping into this division because it is plenty enthralling and quite deep without him.
Eddie Alvarez is next in line to try and figure out this Brazilian bulldozer they call RDA. If Alvarez fails to dethrone him, I just named six -- I included my dude, Diamond -- fighters that could give RDA a run for his money and I'd pay to watch any and all of it!
An embarrassment of riches and we get to reap the benefits. So sit down, grab your popcorn and watch the UFC's strongest division unfold!