UFC Fight Night 128 Preview

ufc-fn128The lightweight division is on fire right now after a year where everything seemed to stall thanks to the champion leaving the octagon for a ring.

Lightweight has always been a division with some of the most talent in the UFC and that hasn’t changed over the last few years.

What did change was that the biggest name in the sport made his way into the division in 2016 and took over.

Most people are sick of hearing his name, but Conor McGregor has had a profound impact on the division.

After winning the lightweight title at the end of 2016 he essentially held the entire division hostage throughout 2017.

He decided not to take a fight in the year and instead began training for a fight against Floyd Mayweather where he got the biggest payday of his career.

That fight took most of the attention away from not only the lightweight division but the UFC in general.

That is now in the past though and as the 2018 year continues on the lightweight division is becoming a focus again.

Throughout 2017 it was always building to be this but without any real champion to fight nobody had anywhere to go.

It was just a group of very talented fighters tripping over each other to try to be the first to fight McGregor when he decided to come back.

Things have finally broken through though as the lightweight division was finally given its breakthrough.

It wasn’t easy as it came when McGregor was stripped of the belt before UFC 223 with Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov set to fight for the title.

After one strange week that saw McGregor get arrested, three fights cancelled and the main event changed multiple times, the division got its champion.

Nurmagomedov beat Al Iaquinta to earn the title and now the line-up is forming behind the Russian to try to get that next shot.

He has already claimed that he does not want to do what McGregor did and put the division on hold, he wants to fight.

The issue with that is that his two biggest competitors could be out for a while with Ferguson recovering from a torn LCL and McGregor now dealing with legal issues.

Either one could be the next fight and McGregor will be the one if there are no issues with his arrest in New York.

While the world awaits that decision, there are a lot of fighters looking to step in and take that next shot to keep things going like the new champion wants.

Last weekend Dustin Poirier looked to put his name in the mix with an exciting win over Justin Gaethje.

Now two more lightweights are hoping to put their names into the mix at UFC Fight Night 128.

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It is a fight that looks similar to the one only a week ago as a young prospect takes on a veteran both looking to impress enough to get the attention of the matchmakers.

In almost a carbon copy of the previous fight, Edson Barboza is a fighter that has been around for a long time but has yet to fight for a title.

Like Poirier, Barboza has fought for a long time, since 2010, in search of that title shot and although he has fought some of the best he has never been able to gain that momentum.

After a loss to the current champion, he will need a big performance against one of the more exciting prospects in the UFC.

Like Gaethje, Kevin Lee has only started to gain a name for himself in the UFC, although Lee has been around longer and has worked his way up the rankings.

After a much0hyped matchup with Ferguson led to his first loss in six fights he is trying to prove that he still belongs among the elite.

Both fighters are coming off of a loss but both losses came against some of the top fighters in the division.

It was never going to drop them too far down the rankings and they were going to be within striking distance.

Now they are facing each other looking to put their names in that pipeline for the title shot with a champion who wants to fight soon.

After both of their losses, this is an important fight as another loss will put them behind a line that seems to get longer with every fight card.

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