Hello everybody. UCF 86 came and went this past Saturday leaving a new champ in Forrest Griffin and creating another upset in the crazy world that is the UFC's Light Heavyweight division. So I was checking out some sites this past week and I saw that a lot of people are already talking about who should be next in line for the title. Some ideas were good, some not so good, but they inspired me to sit down and try to make sense of arguably the deepest division in MMA and try to come up with a list of possible candidates. There's a lot of good fighters so I chose to bring it down to six, and in no order they are:
1. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
This is a given considering he was the champ up until Saturday night. One big win for him and he should have a chance to get his belt back.
2. Rashad Evans
Love him or hate him, Rashad Evans is 6-0 in the UFC with wins over Stephan Bonnar, Michael Bisping, a draw with Tito Ortiz and a win over Keith Jardine as a heavyweight on The Ultimate Fighter. A win over Chuck Liddell in their upcoming match should bring him within reach of the title.
3. Lyoto Machida
Wins over Kazuhiro Nakamura, Sokoudjou, and Tito Ortiz have proved that Lyoto is the real deal. With his style he can be trouble for anyone at 205, and with one more big win he could have a title shot soon.
4. Wanderlei Silva
Wanderlei hasnt had the best of luck lately after three straight losses to Mirko Cro Cop, Dan Henderson, and Chuck Liddell but after his huge win over Keith Jardine he's back in the game. Wandy is a big name and he could bring a lot of money in a title fight, and with one or two more big wins he might be next in line.
5. Chuck Liddell
After back to back losses to Rampage and Jardine, it seemed that Chuck didnt have it anymore and there were even rumors of retirement for the Iceman. But after a win over Wanderlei Silva in one of the year's best fights, Liddell is back in the mix. If he can get past Evans, UFC's posterboy might be making them big bucks again in a title fight with Griffin.
6. Keith Jardine
I know a lot of people may not think Keith Jardine belongs in this list after his losses to Houston Alexander and Wanderlei, but you cant forget that he holds wins over Chuck Liddell and the current 205 pound champ Forrest Griffin. If he can get another big win or two the UFC could easily set him up with a title shot and use his destruction of Griffin to hype the fight.
Theres my picks and I know a lot of you will not agree with them but let me explain. First, these are not my personal favorites but I believe they are the most probable and logical to be chosen next depending on what happens in their upcoming fights. I know I didnt put in guys like Hamill or Shogun or Thiago Silva, but I think these six have a little more clout and definately more experience in the UFC than everyone else in the LHW division. In closing, I predict one of these men will be fighting for the title next. Thanks for stopping by and I like to hear other ideas so feel free to comment.
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