Shogun Rua. Rampage Jackson. Lyoto Machida. Rashad Evans. Vitor Belfort.
All five men are former UFC champions at 205 pounds, and all five have fallen at the hands of reigning champion Jon Jones.
When top contenders continue to come up short, a weight class can begin to look smaller than it actually is. The five men listed above are all quality fighters who can beat other members of the elite on any given night. However, none of these fighters would cause fans to get excited.
Who wants to see a rematch of a one-sided fight? Aside from Mr. Belfort's near submission on Saturday's card, Jones was in control of nearly every minute during competition with these athletes.
While many feel that Dan Henderson is the best candidate for the next title shot, Hendo vs. Jones doesn't have the same appeal that it originally did. Seemingly, the fallout from UFC 151 undid the bout, as fans fell in love with the idea of a surprise title contender: Chael P. Sonnen.
UFC 151 should not have been canceled. We had a champion who was trained and ready to fight. We had a challenger who was willing to step into the cage on only eight days notice. We had 10 other fights with warriors who were primed and ready to roll.
Unfortunately, Jones refused to sign on for the Sonnen fight, the event was scrapped, and Bones instantly became one of the most despised men in the sport. As an effect of Jones' fall from grace, Sonnen used his gift of gab to repeatedly slam the champion for his lack of courage and warrior's spirit.
The endless stream of insults kept Sonnen in demand for a title shot with Anderson Silva down at middleweight, and they have had a similar effect in his 205-pound home.
There is no fight more sellable than a battle between Jon Jones and the man he deemed too dangerous to fight on only eight days notice. Is Jones scared of Sonnen? Will Sonnen be the first man to score a takedown on Jones?
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!