Could We Be Looking at a Middleweight #1 Contender Tournament By the End of 2012?

Anderson Silva Trollin

(Our approximate reaction upon hearing the news.) 

When we laid out a possible plan to sort out the UFC’s middleweight division earlier this week, we did so by offering several plausible matchups that we felt would most effectively separate the true contenders from the delusional gatekeepers. Some applauded our effort, some offered different, yet equally effective alternatives, and some relied on the time tested effectiveness of sending death threats to our Twitter account, or what they assumed was our Twitter account. MWAHAHAHA!!!

However effective you thought our plan may have been, it’s looking like the UFC could be pursuing a completely different and much more intriguing option to solve the dilemma at 185 lbs.: a good old fashioned tournament. And although the flyweight tournament had some hiccups of its own, we would be hard pressed to find a more efficient method of determining a number one contender than this. But before we jump the gun, just check out what Dana White recently told Ariel Helwani (and what BG just implied) and decide for yourself:

We’re working on so much crazy shit right now — you know how I get. I get all nutty and start telling you shit I’m not supposed to be telling you. We’re working on really, really exciting stuff that we’re just going to kill it at the end of this year. Some really fun stuff…. I am very excited about the 185-pound division — it’s all I’ve been talking about for the last four days. I was on the road, in Australia, on the phone every day talking about the 185-pound division. It’s never been more exciting. I will let the cat out of the bag on Saturday about what we are going to do. Whoever wins on Saturday, I will have answers for you at the press conference.

We hate to prematurely celebrate, but…

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With so many plausible contenders currently floating around the middleweight pool, so to speak, you’ve gotta imagine that Dana is hinting at something much bigger than a possible Boetsch/Lombard winner vs. Chris Weidman number one contender bout. Considering he’s also hinting at the end of the year, which has and always will be the best time of the year to be an MMA fan, White must be talking about a tournament, right? RIGHT? Agree or disagree in the comments section. And by disagree, we mean agree.

Check out a video of the interview below.

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As noted by Helwani, The Baldfather was uncharacteristically amped throughout his interview, and dished on everything from Urijah Faber’s chances of getting another title shot down the line if he fails to deliver against Renan Barao on Saturday (hint: they aren’t great) to the validity of Dave Meltzer’s recent report on the Showtime/Zuffa deal that apparently blocks Strikeforce fighters from signing with the UFC .

When the topic of Hector Lombard was brought up, however, White revealed a rather interesting bit of info the former Bellator middleweight kingpin:

I hear things about him, you know. A lot of other fighters aren’t big fans of him and, you know, understand this…you’re dealing with fighters. We have an entire roster of guys that are really good guys, mild mannered, but every once in a while you’re going to find those guys that aren’t. And they’re mean, and their nasty, and he’s definitely one of those guys. 

A word to the wise, Potato Nation: Don’t ask Hector Lombard for the typical fist pose photo should you happen to run into him on the street, or you will more than likely find that fist somewhere unexpected and less than favorable. Just sayin’.

-J. Jones