Despite the fact that it's champion is off gallivanting in heavier weight classes, the featherweight division is stronger than it has ever been. It had a strong showing at UFC 199, one of the biggest stars in the sport is the title holder and one of the most anticipated bouts on the UFC 200 card will determine his next challenger.
UFC 199 was a perfect example of how rich in talent the featherweight division is. We were treated to two fun bouts which involved incredible performances from Dustin Poirier and Max Holloway.
Poirier looked like an absolute assassin in his bout against Bobby Green. From the moment he walked out through the curtain, it was obvious that Poirier was attempting to make a statement; his words in the post-fight interview confirmed this.
Green attempted to trash-talk and dance around, but Poirier had no time for this. On a number of occasions, Green was halfway through showboating when Poirier silenced him with laser guided shots. His striking was violent yet precise, making short work of his opponent.
In his post-fight interview Poirier shouted into the camera lens: "This is my life, this is how I eat. I got mouths to feed and I want big fights!" A steely Dustin Poirier makes a statement at UFC 199.
In a fast-paced bout that went the distance, Max Holloway and Ricardo Lamas exhibited the exciting, springy style of the featherweight division. The fight involved some wild exchanges, which Holloway often got the best of.
Once again, Holloway proved what an impressive athlete he is, constantly applying pressure to Lamas. Having said that, Lamas never relented for the duration. It was this refusal to back down from both fighters that resulted in one of the most talked about moments of the night. In the closing moments, Holloway and Lamas made an agreement to stay in the center of the Octagon and end the fight swinging for the fences.
Holloway looked very impressive in his decision win. He should be back in the title picture soon as he has been on a tear recently.
Speaking of the belt, there is also the issue of who is the rightful No. 1 to the featherweight championship. This will be resolved at UFC 200 between Frankie Edgar and Jose Aldo. Edgar has been chasing a title shot for a long time now and after beating the top fighters in the division, a lot of people believe his next fight should be for the belt.
Edgar and the MMA fandom at large may believe him to be the rightful No. 1 contender, but Aldo sees it differently. The former champion lost his belt to Conor McGregor in just 13 seconds, and is now out to reclaim the belt and prove that the KO was simply a fluke.
One thing is for certain, come UFC 200 and the resulting title match, there will be fireworks in the featherweight division.
(Images via MMAWeekly.com)