The latest fight weekend is officially over and UFC 117 is now in the history books.
The most recent offering from the premier mixed martial arts organization delivered on it's promise as a highly important and entertaining night of fights.
In the main event Anderson Silva defended his Middleweight Title against Chael Sonnen in a hard fought and highly entertaining fight. Sonnen dominated Silva for four and a half rounds before the Champion managed to sink in a fight ending submission.
In the co-main event Jon Fitch defeated Thiago Alves once again in a dominating ground performance. No one seems to be able to hang with Fitch's grinding style, the problem though is that he keeps winning his fights via decision.
Fitch is without doubt the No.2 welterweight in the world, but the AKA fighter is routinely booed by the fans during his fights. Fitch does not sell PPV's.
In the aftermath of both of these fights a lot has been said and written about what is next for the Middleweight Champion and Jon Fitch.
An instant Silva vs Sonnen re-match or a possible Silva vs Vitor Belfort fight seem to be at the forefront of the discussion surrounding the Middleweight Title.
The discussion around Jon Fitch has been somewhat muted in comparison because we really didn't learn anything we didn't already know about Fitch or the Welterweight Title picture.
From all the talk surrounding UFC 117 and the post event predictions for the future I have come to my own conclusions on what should happen next.
Silva vs Fitch just makes so much sense and this is why.
Vitor Belfort is not deserving or ready for a Title shot
Many commentators including UFC President Dana White continue to throw Vitor Belfort into the Middleweight Title picture. The Brazilian bomber was originally scheduled to face Silva at UFC 112 but had to withdraw due to injury.
To put Belfort straight into a title fight now is not the right move for a number of reasons.
Belfort has not fought since UFC 103 back in September 2009 and he will surely suffer from ring rust. A tune up fight makes sense and he still only has one win in the UFC since his return to the promotion and that fight was at a catch weight of 195lbs.
Belfort needs a fight before he faces Silva.
Yes he was scheduled to fight for the title but injury and timing unfortunately did not work in his favor. Shane Carwin took a fight against Frank Mir whilst waiting for Brock Lesnar. The circumstances are different but it just shows that just because you were set to fight for the title doesn't mean that offer stays around for ever.
Belfort needs to re-establish himself at 185lbs and earn a title shot.
Chael Sonnen showed that Anderson is beatable
Before UFC 117 it was a widely held opinion that the recipe to beat Silva was a top level wrestler.
Sonnen proved this to be true as he backed up his statements and repeatedly took the champion down with ease. Sonnen proved that Silva is beatable and that an inferior grinder who works hard can take on more talented opponents.
Fitch has proved to have high level wrestling in his career and has transferred his skills well to MMA. Fitch has a very similar style to Sonnen and could be a big test for the Brazilian Champion.
Having previously fought at 205 lbs earlier in his career, Fitch is ready made to move up to challenge for the title.
No one wants to see Fitch vs GSP II and Fitch will not fight Koscheck
Post UFC 117 Fitch is now unquestionably the stand alone No.2 welterweight in the world and has moved his career to 23-3-1. Were it not for Georges St.Pierre, Fitch may well have already established himself as one of the greatest welterweight's ever.
Fitch has lost one fight in eight years and has gone on another lengthy win streak since his loss to St.Pierre at UFC 87.
Were records the only factor there would be no argument that Fitch deserves another title shot. However his last eight fights have ended in decision and Fitch is regulary booed and viewed as boring by many fans.
Dana White knows this is and it is likely why he is very reluctant to immediately make another GSP vs Fitch fight. The other conundrum for Fitch is that his friend and team mate Josh Koscheck is fighting GSP for the title after the latest season of "The Ultimate Fighter" finishes filming.
Koscheck and Fitch have routinely said that they will never fight each other.
So with all this in mind would it not make sense to make Silva vs Fitch?
Fitch deserves another title shot so it would keep him happy and he would certainly bring a tough fight to Silva.
With Sonnen vs Silva proving highly entertaining it's reasonable to think Fitch vs Silva could be the same. It's a new opponent for Silva and it is one he cannot dismiss as not being deserving.
The fight would also allow Belfort to have a tune up/contender fight with someone like Chris Leben, Alan Belcher or Michael Bisping. Sonnen could also have a fight in the meantime that should he win would put him right back in line for a rematch.
So Joe Silva I hope you are reading this. Please make Silva vs Fitch for the Middleweight Title, you know it makes sense.
Let's hear it folks.
Greg Parfitt is a Featured MMA writer on Bleacher Report.
He also writes for Sportshaze.com and HTRMMA.com.
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