Ok since Anderson Silva Will be out until at least February I thought we could all take a look at the middleweight division of the UFC and try to sort this stuff out. First off let’s look at the top contenders of the division; here are my Top 8 in no particular order (excluding Anderson Silva)
1. Chael Sonnen
2. Nate Marquardt
3. Yushin Okami
4. Vitor Belfort
5. Demian Maia
6. Chris Leben
7. Wanderlei Silva
8. Alan Belcher
Ok so I do not think Chael will get an instant rematch nor do I think he deserves it. Almost all instant rematches that have happened in the UFC occurred because of a controversial decision a bad call by the referee or a DQ, therefore no rematch. I think we can take off Leben and Wandy because I’m pretty sure they will fight each other in the near future, so my first potential matchup is:
Yushin Okami Vs. Vitor Belfort (for #1 Contendership)
With Anderson out for a while it gives a perfect opportunity to determine whether or not Belfort really deserves a shot. I think the matchup with Okami and his all around game will be a great matchup for the powerful Brazilian and will truly determine the #1 contender. Plus it gives Okami his long overdue rematch with Anderson Silva.
Another Matchup I would like to see is the rematch between Chael Sonnen and Demian Maia
I mainly want to see this fight because I want Chael to win and prove that he can learn from his past (8) mistakes. I do not think that Sonnen has a problem defending submissions but that he gives his opponents too many opportunities to get one (eventually they will if you sit in the guard all fight). Sonnen can prevent this by staying active by passing Maia’s guard as opposed to throwing punches and elbows.
That leaves Nate Marquardt and Alan Belcher.
I do not see these two fighting each other but I would love to see Marquardt fight the winner of Leben and Silva is he gets past Palahares (which I think he will do) The winner of that fight getting the next shot at the title. Alan Belcher on the other hand could be shelved for a long time due to his recent injury. I do not care who he fights as long as he does because he is one of the most exciting fighters in the middleweight division.
In the end I think it will come down to what Anderson does. I think he is close to retiring or moving up to 205. Either way I am predicting mayhem in the MW division for a couple years which is only good news for the fans.