All of a sudden, it seems as if the UFC’s middleweight division has become of the promotion’s strongest and most intriguing divisions. There are many top contenders at the moment, all itching to get a shot at reigning champion Chris Weidman.
Weidman is set to defend his title for a third time next month at UFC 184 from Los Angeles, California against the controversial Brazilian, Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. If Weidman can get past Belfort, he will have to go through a murderer’s row of contenders to keep his belt, as there are a few huge fights coming up to decide the next challenger.
One of these important matchups was set to take place on the same card as Weidman and Belfort; however, news broke today that Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has been forced out of his scheduled bout against Yoel “The Soldier of God” Romero due to pneumonia. UFC officials announced the news today (January 15, 2015)which was confirmed by MMAJunkie, also saying that the fight is still likely to happen, just at a later date.
This was a big fight for both men, as “Jacare” is currently ranked No. 4 in the middleweight rankings, while Romero sits at No. 8. Souza is riding a seven fight win streak dating back to his Strikeforce days, with six being finishes. Since making the jump over to the UFC, he is currently 4-0, with three submission wins. Souza’s most notable win was his September win over Gegard Mousasi in which the Brazilian also took home a “Fight of the Night” award.
Romero, is also undefeated in the UFC and boasted a very impressive 3-0 record in 2014. This included a huge comeback and stoppage win over Derrick Brunson last January, followed by a decision win over Brad Tavares last April. His most recent win was a third round knockout of Tim Kennedy at September’s UFC 178. Although highly controversial due to the famous “stoolgate” incident, it is still “The Soldier of God’s” biggest win to date.
Both of these contenders are riding impressive win streaks, and both are knocking at the door for a title shot. When this fight eventually does go down, the winner could find themselves lined up against Weidman, or whoever is wearing middleweight gold at that time.
Despite losing a very interesting and pivotal matchup, UFC 184 is still a very intriguing card as it is being headlined by two title fights. Not only will Weidman defend his title against Belfort, but the women’s bantamweight championship is also on the line.
Bantamweight queen and reigning champ “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey will put her undefeated record and title on the line against No. 1 contender “Alpha” Cat Zingano in a highly anticipated bout. This fight is a long time in the making, as Zingano was supposed to get the shot after her 2013 win over Miesha Tate. However, injuries and personal problems resulted in a long layoff, but she returned at UFC 178 and scored a TKO win over Amanda Nunes to finally earn her long awaited title shot.
It should be an explosive night for the UFC come February 28, 2015. Stay tuned to LowKickMMA for up to date news as the event nears closer.