UFC 148 Results: Top 10 Middleweights in the UFC
Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen are the participants of the most heated rivalry in UFC history. Last night at UFC 148, their feud came to its conclusion when Silva scored a second round TKO over his Oregonian challenger.
How did the win shake up the divisional rankings? Where does Chael go from here?
Now that the biggest fight in middleweight history is in the books, lets take a look at the Top 10 Middleweights in the UFC.
Authors Note: Rich Franklin has been removed from this list because he is ineligible. His placement in last month's list was an oversight, as the bout with Wanderlei Silva was a catchweight, and not contested within the division.
10. Chris Weidman
Last Fight: Decision win over Demian Maia at UFC on Fox 2
Next Fight: vs Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel 5
4-0 in the UFC, Chris Weidman is a top prospect in the UFC middleweight division. As a prized student of Matt Serra, this NCAA wrestler has an 8-0 record as a professional and will be given his first headlining spot at UFC on Fuel 5.
Weidman has put together wins over notables Demian Maia, Tom Lawlor and Alessio Sakara. If he can defeat Mark Munoz next week, his ranking will jump considerably.
9. Brian Stann
Last Fight: KO win over Alessio Sakara at UFC on Fuel 3
Next Fight: TBA
American soldier Brian Stann has taken the fast-track to stardom. With a compelling tale of heroism and a history of knockout wins, Stann has become one of the more popular middleweights in the UFC.
Stann's biggest wins include knockouts over Chris Leben, Alessio Sakara and Jorge Santiago.
If the war hero can win a proposed battle against Michael Bisping, he will be a contender in the division. The bout, however, is not official, as Bisping has another challenger waiting in the wings.
8. Alan Belcher
Last Fight: KO win over Rousimar Palhares at UFC on FOX 3
Next Fight: TBA
The other man who has thrown his hat into the ring in hopes of challenging Michael Bisping is longtime UFC veteran Alan Belcher.
Belcher has won six of his last seven fights inside the Octagon and his sole loss came via controversial decision to Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 100.
Belcher's most recent win was an astounding performance against leglock machine Rousimar Palhares. The Talent was able to defend his opponent's signature position and come out on top, winning the fight via ground-and-pound KO in the first round.
7. Hector Lombard
Last Fight: KO win over Trevor Prangley at Bellator 58
Next Fight: vs Tim Boetsch at UFC 149
When Hector Lombard makes his Octagon debut this month, he does so while carrying a 24-fight win streak that includes wins over several UFC veterans including Jesse Taylor, James Te-Huna and Trevor Prangley.
Lombard has been considered to be one of the top stars of the Bellator roster and he enters the UFC without having lost his championship from that organization.
The Cuban has wasted little time in calling out champion Anderson Silva. If he can knock out surging contender Tim Boetsch, who knows what lies in store.
6. Tim Boetsch
Last Fight: KO win over Yushin Okami at UFC 144
Next Fight: vs Hector Lombard at UFC 149
After an unimpressive run at light-heavyweight, who would have guessed that Tim Boetsch would make waves in the UFC's talent-rich middleweight division?
Boetsch has gone 3-0 since dropping to 185 and holds notable wins over undefeated Nick Ring, TUF champion Kendall Grove and former title contender Yushin Okami.
The Barbarian was originally scheduled to face Michael Bisping in his next fight; however, Bisping withdrew due to injury and Boetsch will now face Bellator Middleweight champion Hector Lombard.
5. Michael Bisping
Last Fight: Unanimous decision loss to Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox 2
Next Fight: TBD
Michael Bisping is the girl at the dance who all the boys want to dance with. Bisping has been called out by everyone from Alan Belcher to Brian Stann to Hector Lombard and more. What is it that makes every middleweight want to fight The Count?
Bisping has fallen short when facing the elite names at middleweight, but has gone otherwise undefeated. Heading into his late-notice battle with Chael Sonnen, Bisping was riding a four-fight winning streak that included wins over Jason Miller and Yoshihiro Akiyama.
Who will Bisping fight next? It appears that it will either be Belcher or Stann, but an official decision has yet to be announced.
4. Chael Sonnen
Last Fight: TKO loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 148
Next Fight: TBD
Chael Sonnen came closer to defeating Anderson Silva than anyone in UFC history. Unfortunately, that will likely be his only claim to fame, as he came up short against the champion once again when the two met last night at UFC 148.
Sonnen dominated the first round by controlling Silva on the canvas for the opening stanza. Things didn't go his way in the second round.
After a failed spinning back fist made Sonnen lose his balance and fall to the mat, the champion unleashed devastating ground and pound to earn the stoppage.
It's back to the drawing board for Chael, who is unlikely to challenge for gold so long as Silva holds the belt. His only hope at winning a championship lies in Rashad Evans somehow wrestling the belt away from Silva.
3. Mark Munoz
Last Fight: TKO win over Chris Leben at UFC 138
Next Fight: vs Chris Weidman at UFC on Fuel 4
The Filipino Wrecking Machine has been a monster in the UFC since dropping down from light-heavyweight. Munoz has gone 7-1 as a middleweight, with his only loss coming via split decision against Yushin Okami in the summer of 2010.
With wins over Chris Leben, Demian Maia and Ultimate Fighter winner Kendall Grove, Munoz has elevated his status tremendously. If he can win his first UFC main event on Wednesday night, he will continue to climb in the rankings.
His opponent is the always-dangerous prospect Chris Weidman, who maintains a perfect professional record and has gone 4-0 in the UFC.
2. Vitor Belfort
Last Fight: Submission win over Anthony Johnson at UFC 142
Next Fight: TBD
One man's loss is another man's gain.
With Chael Sonnen falling at the hands of Anderson Silva, it leaves room for former champion Vitor Belfort to move into his No. 2 ranking.
Belfort may not hold his spot for long, however, because Mark Munoz is nipping at his heels and has the opportunity to knock off top-10 fighter Chris Weidman later this week, which would give him a five-fight winning streak.
Will the Brazilian be able to make the most of his luck? Only time will tell. The Phenom is still recovering from a broken hand suffered in training for a UFC 147 bout with Wanderlei Silva.
1. Anderson Silva
Last Fight: TKO win over Chael Sonnen at UFC 148
Next Fight: TBD
Chael Sonnen may get his medium rare steak after all.
After dispatching of his arch-rival at UFC 148, Silva seemed to bury the hatchet with his tormentor. The Spider even went as far as to invite Sonnen to his home for a BBQ in the post-fight interview.
Silva has extended his winning streak in the UFC to 15 and has bumped the record for consecutive title defenses up to 10. Is there anything that this man can not do?
Rashad Evans has extended a challenge to Silva in hopes of being the next contender at 185 pounds. Will Silva accept the big-money fight against a former champion? We'll see.