When Anderson moves up to light heavyweight on August 8
to fight Forrest Griffin, it will hopefully be his last
fight in that weight class. Silva moving up holds up the
middleweight division, which at the moment has multiple
contenders to his belt.
The winner of Henderson versus Bisping was suppose to
get the next shot at the belt, however due to Silva
being scheduled to a non-title bout, Henderson is forced
to have a rematch with Rich Franklin. These two just
fought months ago, and should not be fighting again. They
each have had only one fight a piece since then, Franklin
outpointing Wanderlei Silva, and Dan brutally knocking out
Michael Bisping. If Henderson loses to Rich it knocks him
out of title contention.
Another upcoming bout that was suppose to have title
implications is Nate Marquardt versus Demian Maia.
Marquardt has been on a tear since losing to Anderson
two years ago. He has choked out Jeremy Horn, lost a
controversial decision to Thales, sent Martin Kampmann
to the welterweight division, and knocked out Wilson
Gouveia with one of the most spectacular combinations
seen inside the octagon.
Damien Maia is with out a doubt the best jiu-jitsu
practitioner in the middleweight division. He has beat Ryan
Jensen, choked out Ed Herman, Jason Macdonald, Nate Quarry,
and most recently Chael Sonnen. Maia has a lot of hype
around him and many people believe he would give Silva
the fight of his life.
Yushin Okami was set for his title shot last October,
however a hand injury pulled him off the card. He is 7-1
inside the octagon with his lone loss coming to the hands
of Rich Franklin. His most recent fight was a win over Dean
Lister. Okami also holds Silva last lost, however it is a
disqualification win, its a win nonetheless.
Replacing Okami last October was hard hitting, power puncher,
Patrick "The Predator" Cote. Cote became the first person
to make it to a third round with Anderson before succumbing
to a leg injury. Cote may not be a contender at the moment,
but a stellar performance against a top level fighter puts
him right up there.
And the last applicant to the middleweight crown, is currently
not in the UFC, however Dana has expressed interest in him. The
fighter is former light heavyweight champ Vitor Belfort. Belfort
is currently set to fight Sengoku standout Jorge Santiago. An
impressive win over Jorge, on top of his spectacular 37 second
knockout over Matt Lindland, would put him on the top of the UFC's
Anderson is set to fight Forrest Griffin. Silva has a lot to lose
in this fight, with not to much to gain. While a win cements his
spot atop the pound for pound best, a loss decreases his
marketability, also it provides a blue print on how to beat Anderson.
This is a big gamble on Dana White's behalf, and I hope it is the
last. There are to many deserving title contenders for Silva to be
fighting at 205.
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