Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort and the 5 Biggest Possible UFC Fights
With Chris Weidman vs. Anderson Silva 2 and Ronda Rousey vs. Miesha Tate 2 both done, the UFC has something of a problem. There aren't too many huge fights left to put together.
The UFC only has a few options, and they happen to have one of them already lined up. The middleweight champ will face off with former UFC light heavyweight champ and TRT-fueled killing machine Vitor Belfort.
That fight represents one of the few bouts the UFC has available to them that can draw huge, sweeping attention.
So what other fights, scheduled or hypothetical, could do the same? Find out right here!
Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva
Chael Sonnen vs. Wanderlei Silva is booked for 2014, and it is a doozy.
Silva was struggling to remain relevant in the modern UFC after a 3-5 run, marred by ugly, brutal knockouts at the hands of Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Chris Leben. A surprising knockout victory over Brian Stann, however, gave him new life, and he used that opportunity to turn one of the UFC's biggest draws, Chael Sonnen, into his mortal rival.
The fight is going to be built up during the third season of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil, in a way that is distinctly reminiscent of Georges St-Pierre vs. Josh Koscheck. Unlike GSP vs. Koscheck, the UFC isn't putting this fight on pay-per-view. They're using it as leverage for their newly rolled-out Fight Pass service.
Whether or not it will translate into the sort of revenue other fights on this list would (or will) bring is a mystery. Either way, the UFC certainly seems to believe that this is big enough to build an awkward, unnecessary season of The Ultimate Fighter around.
I'm inclined to trust their judgment on this one, and include Chael vs. Wanderlei on this list.
Chael Sonnen vs. Vitor Belfort
Chael Sonnen is a big draw. Vitor Belfort is a big draw. The two have a bitter rivalry that extends back to 2012, and they have exchanged call-outs throughout 2013.
Put 'em together and what do you got? Lots of money for Zuffa.
With Sonnen planning to return to the middleweight division following his bout with Wanderlei Silva, and Vitor Belfort lined up for a title fight, it would require a few things to come together in terms of either Belfort losing in devastating fashion to Weidman, or Sonnen quickly turning around and establishing himself as a contender at middleweight.
Either way, if these two wind up facing off, this could be an enormous fight, and would likely eclipse Sonnen's outing against Jon Jones, which drew a solid 550,000 buys.
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson 2
The rematch that everyone wants also happens to be one of the biggest fights the UFC could possibly put together.
Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson's first fight at UFC 165 did relatively modest buys, clocking in at an estimated 325,000. Still, the exciting, super-close nature of the fight would likely make the rematch a bigger draw than the original.
At this time, both fighters have somebody else on their plate. Jon Jones is set to fight Brazilian slugger Glover Teixeira at UFC 172. Alexander Gustafsson, meanwhile, will kick off the UFC's European tour this March in London opposite Jimi Manuwa.
If both of them win their upcoming bouts, they will likely face off in autumn 2014.
Ronda Rousey vs. Cristiane Justino
While you might be quick to point out how Cris "Cyborg" Justino isn't part of the UFC, the give-and-take relationship (and by that, I mean give-and-give) relationship between Zuffa and Invicta FC is pretty clearly there. If the UFC wanted to put on a women's superfight, they would likely be able to do so.
The rivalry between the two has been lingering for years, but the fight itself has appeal that extends far deeper than just another feud. Everything about Cyborg and Rousey runs opposite to one another.
Striker vs. grappler. Savage knockouts vs. elegant submissions. Grizzled warrior vs. beautiful martial artist.
The two facing off is possibly the biggest fight the UFC could put together, but the problems with it are many, particularly in terms of pausing the rest of the rapidly-shifting division. That makes it tough to call if we'll ever actually see it.
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