With Liddell Out Of The Picture... Guess Who Headlines UFC 103?

TimCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2009

CULVER CITY, CA - MAY 30:  UFC fighter Chuck Liddell arrives at the taping for Spike TV's 2nd Annual 'Guys Choice' Awards held at Sony Studios on May 30, 2008 in Culver City, California.  The show airs on June 22, 2008 at 10PM ET/PT on Spike TV.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin was the rumored Main Event, but Liddell has decided to take some time off.  This is a good for him, but it leaves UFC 103 without a Main Event and without a lot of top tier fighters.

It will be interesting to see what the UFC does with this one.  Most of the big draws already scheduled to fight.  Who is left for UFC 103?

Let’s take a look at the upcoming events, who is in them…

UFC 100 has GSP, Mir, Lesnar, Hendo, and Bisbing accounted for.

UFC 101 has Penn, Griffin, and Silva accounted for.

UFC 102 has Couture and Big Nog booked up

UFC 104 has Rua and Machida penciled in, will that get moved up?

Evans and Rampage will be tied up until TUF 10 is done. Probably fighting UFC 105.

It looks like there is a likely letdown for UFC 103

Rich Franklin

Franklin vs Liddell was the rumored Headliner, but with Liddell out of the picture, what happens? Franklin should still be good to go, but against who? 

Everyone else worth mentioning, that fights in that weight class, is already accounted for.  Evans, Ramage, Griffin, Machida, Rua, and Anderson Silva are booked up. 

Even Jardine and Thiago Silva or up and comers like Vera, Jon Jones and Hamill are accounted for.

Do they hope for a turnaround from one of these guys?

Do they throw someone like Luiz Cane into the fire?  Would anyone care enough to watch?

I don’t think a Franklin Headline will work, simply because there isn’t anyone in his weight class available, so I decided to take a look across the weight  for capable headliners for an idea…


This is the UFC’s thinnest division and all the top draws are already in action.  Lesnar, Mir, Couture and Nogueira have fights.  I know there is a plan for Carwin vs. Velasquez , but these guys aren’t likely to headline this event.

I looks like Heavyweights will not headline UFC 103

Light Heavyweights

As I mentioned earlier, all the top fighters in this weight class have fights penciled in.  The only thing I can see happening is Rua vs. Machida getting moved up. It isn’t likely, but it would allow one of the many potential headliners from UFC 100 one more month to heal / train.

Unless this happens, UFC 103 will not be headlined by a Light Heavyweight.


I like the middle weight division.  There are lots of fighters I like to watch at Middleweight.  They could have a match for the number one contender spot. The problem with that is; fans don’t get too excited about a contest of “Who will Anderson Silva beat next?”

Demian Maia vs. Nate Marquardt is already set for UFC 102

Other top contenders are Bisbing and Hendo, who are fighting each other, and Yushin Okami, who unfortunately will not be headlining any event any time soon.

I think the UFC wanted to set up Okami vs. Cote, but that fight might get broken up.  There is a distinct possibility of Wandi fighting one of the two.

Wandi is still a fan favourite and will make for an exciting fight, but I don’t know who they put him against.

Unless they can find an opponent for Wandi, it doesn’t look like a Middleweight will headline UFC 103


While the top three fighters (GSP, Alves, Fitch) will be fighting within the week, there are still some marketable fighters kicking around. 

I know the rumors have Martin Kampmann vs. Mike Swick on the card, but I have also heard that Swick wants to fight Hughes. 

Hughes may have lost some of his luster, but I think he can still headline an event, plus a win by Swick would give the UFC a top contender that GSP has not yet dominated.  

A win by Hughes might justify him getting another title shot, not in my eyes, but the UFC might push it.  I am not saying it will happen, but it is a viable option for a main event.

Hughes vs. Swick could happen, especially if GSP wins.  Otherwise matchups may change.


The UFC may find it’s headliner at the bottom of the weight classes.  A title match will still be out of the picture, but there is an opportunity for a legit headliner.

After his showing on the TUF 9 finale, Diego Sanchez is ready for the big time again. 

A lot of people may see him as THE next contender for the lightweight title, but the UFC may need to set up one more fight for him before he gets a shot at a title.

Sanchez put on a show in the TUF 9 finale and fans would likely pay to see him again.  Sanchez vs. Frankie Edgar could have merit as a legit No. 1 contender’s match.

Who will we see headlining UCF 103?

I believe the most likely candidates are:

Wandi vs. ______

Hughes vs. Swick

Sanchez vs. Edgar

Sanchez vs. Edgar is the one I would like to see, who would you like to see?  Which one do you think is most likely?  Let me know.


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