For every door closed, another opens.
Same goes for title belts. For every fighter who loses their belt, someone has to win it eventually, even if it was vacated.
I will be covering every division, from Lightweight to Heavyweight and telling you who the next title holder will be.
Who will have the belt after Georges St. Pierre? Who after Anderson Silva? Or Brock Lesnar? I will talk about it within.
But anyway, please enjoy the article!
LET'S GET IT ON!
P.S. Please do not just comment on a certain thing that will show up. Please. Comment on all of the opinions expressed within, not just one that you found to be a big disagreement.
Current Title Holder: Frankie Edgar
Next Title Holder: Gray Maynard
Without a doubt, your next Lightweight Champion is Gray "The Bully" Maynard. Yes, a man with a tramp stamp and a penchant for decision wins will be the next champion of the division.
And the thing is, he will dominate it like only one has ever before in the division.
He is an extremely powerful brawler, with unbelievable wrestling skill.
Some call his style of fighting "Lay-N-Pray," but I believe he is legitimately fighting. People say he has no skill for using that style of fighting, even though ironically enough, it takes a tremendous amount of skill.
It requires a ludicrous amount of stamina to keep someone down on the ground that long. All the while worrying about the submission, while trying to beat him to a pulp.
Also, his takedowns. With Maynard, I need say no more. His takedowns are borderline unstoppable with approximately 91% success rate in the last six fights.
To say that is a fairly high number is to say that the Empire State Building is seven stories. If I am not mistaken, UFC average is approximately 54% or so.
That adds perfect perspective for why he can defeat Edgar.
Also, let's not forget he has done it before. I realize Edgar has improved by leaps and bounds, but he is more a natural Featherweight, while Maynard walks around at 175 or so. Edgar actually lives his life at just about 160. Maynard is too big and powerful for Edgar.
Current Champion: Georges St. Pierre
Next Champion: Jon Fitch, Matt Hughes, John Hathaway
Yes, I had to pick a few fighters. That is how it will be from now on. Every other division has different matchup problems.
This one has Jon Fitch, arguably the greatest wrestler in the Welterweight division of MMA. It has Matt Hughes, the greatest UFC fighter to ever put on a pair of gloves. And it has John Hathaway, a young up and comer out of the United Kingdom.
GSP is a great fighter, but I feel all of these guys can defeat him by the time they fight.
Jon Fitch has the wrestling to be able to stop St. Pierre from getting him down. Fitch was the captain of the Purdue Wrestling team in college and an All-American, if I am not mistaken.
I think Georges will have more trouble taking him down than others he has faced. That will be the central piece of the fight. This fight WILL go to the cards, assuming it does happen.
Matt Hughes is the great Welterweight and fighter the UFC has ever seen, and arguably MMA as a whole. He has everything.
An unbelievable wrestling base, fairly good stand-up, and great submissions. When you are top three wrestling, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and a respectable stand-up game, you always have a chance to win.
As of late, he hasn't fought any fantastic fighters, but his upcoming fight with BJ Penn could instantly launch him to the title shot, should he win in pleasing fashion.
And then there is John Hathaway. A very well-rounded youngster who still has a while to go before a title shot. He is very good standing, has excellent wrestling, and has a number of submissions to his record. Overall, a very good fighter, with a great future in the sport.
I feel Georges loses his title to one of these three down the road.
Current Champion: Anderson Silva
Next Champion: Vitor Belfort, Nate Marquardt, Yushin Okami
All three have great resumes. All three can best Anderson Silva in one way or another. Belfort has the stand-up advantage without a doubt. He is arguably the greatest puncher in the division, if not the UFC.
Marquardt, has fantastic submissions, wrestling, and is a very good striker. I have all of my faith that he can defeat Silva in a fight. Let's not forget that Silva is not that great at avoiding subs. Just look at his days in the ring, outside of the Octagon.
Okami has the wrestling to defeat him and he hits quite a bit harder than Chael Sonnen. If you give him the chance to set the record for most hits landed in a fight, he won't reach it as you will be TKO'd.
I love Silva, and I am never one to underestimate him. He obviously is an unbelievable fighter, but I feel these are the three with a chance to defeat him. I also predict these to be his next three fights, should he not retire.
But, as always, odds are more likely in favor of him finishing his division clean-up (as he has defeated Okami in the ring) with Vitor and retiring after another fight or two.
Also, I just wanted to say that he may be ahead of Matt Hughes on the All-Time list. Although, I don't think you will be able to find a whole lot of argument for him to be tops.
Current Champion: Mauricio "Shogun" Rua
Next Champion: Ryan Bader, Jon Jones
I just want to say a few things. Shogun beat Machida BOTH times. A matter of opinion, but leg kicks count for something to me. If you have ever been drilled in the leg that many times, it is something you don't want to do over and over again. Also, he juts won that fight from all angles to me. Without a doubt.
Shogun will not lose to Rashad Evans. He is as good a striker as Machida, and Rashad is cocky enough to try and stand with him. Big mistake. That fight ends about as well as the Machida/Evans fight did. Just with a few knees involved.
Shogun won't lose to Rampage, if that ever happens. Rampage won't be good enough on the ground, and while he is a great puncher, he is bad in the clinch. Shogun by knees, another TKO.
But, two fighters who I feel can defeat him are Jon Jones and Ryan Bader. Neither will fight him any time soon, but both have great wrestling ability, and very good striking. Bader is the better wrestler, with excellent boxing, while Jones is just a ball of fury that is running through his opponents.
Although, to be honest, I feel Jones will not stay in Light-Heavyweight much longer. He is very young and his body is still maturing physically. I have seen him, he looks emaciated.
He won't be able to do it much longer. His dwelling will be in Heavyweight in not too much time. I also feel his style fits perfectly in that division.
Bader, can probably wrestle Shogun to death, but he can't strike with him. I honestly think that could go either way if they ever meet. Odds are, though...Shogun clears the division and retires.
Current Champion: Brock Lesnar
Next Champion: Jon Jones, some guy when Brock Lesnar retires
For those of you who try to hate on Brock Lesnar, you better get used to it. He is becoming exponentially better (approximately an increase of his skill multiplied by itself, every fight) and has everything.
He has a decent stand-up game with which he defeated Couture with. He has an unstoppable wrestling game, which he used to stop, well, everyone. He is picking up a submission game with a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which he used against Shane Carwin.
Most would say that he just laid on him, but was pure Jiu-Jitsu. He noticed the opening, and Carwin's struggle to get his breath under control.
From there, he proceeded to move into side control on Carwin's left side. He locked in the arm triangle, and squeezed. Fight over. Yes, it was easier than many submissions, but to say it was not skill, is to admit your lack of knowledge of the sport.
Jones is an amazing fighter, but if, or when he moves to Heavyweight, no one will be able to have the advantage against Brock in just about any way. I say Jones moves up two or three years from now. By then, Lesnar will have picked up excellent boxing, and a likely Black Belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
With all of that, plus his unstoppable wrestling and takedowns (I believe the all time record holder for takedown percentage), and he will be literally the most unstoppable fighter to ever step into a ring.
Some think he can't get through Cain Velasquez, and possibly even Junior Dos Santos, but I feel it's only a matter of time.
Cain is a medium-sized heavyweight, and his wrestling is most likely not as good as Brock Lesnar's. Clear advantage.
I also doubt that Junior Dos Santos will be able to stop Brock's takedowns, and he won't be able to knock him out. If Carwin couldn't, "Cigano" can't.
Also, I must reiterate, do not just comment on Cain/Lesnar. Please take into your mind everything I say about the matchups and the entire article.
To sum it up, the UFC's belts will most likely be held for quite a while.
I believe that the belt will change in only one or two divisions within the next year. From there, the division could be locked for at least another year or two.
But, here we go:
Frankie Edgar loses his title to Gray Maynard via (T)KO. Maynard is just too naturally powerful and his takedowns are borderline unstoppable.
Georges St. Pierre loses his title belt most likely by decision against one of only a few fighters. If he does not lose, the person who does is the audience when he moves into spectating.
Anderson Silva loses by (T)KO to only a handful of fighters. Most likely being Vitor Belfort, the only fighter in the division who can strike with him.
Rua most likely clears the division, but if he does lose, it is most likely a decision to Ryan Bader.
Brock Lesnar dominates for three to five years losing his title to Jon Jones, otherwise no one. He becomes the greatest fighter to ever fight in the division, and possibly the entire sport's history.
Thank you for reading my articles, everybody. I appreciate the read and hope you enjoyed the article.
I am not one to ignore an opportunity for shameless self promotion, so here goes:
http://twitter.com/spencertucksen and obviously I am @spencertucksen
And you can also become a fan of my pages and affiliates:
The first two are my own, while the third one is one of my affiliates, Sprawl-N-Brawl. It is a great site which I write for as well. Please go to:
But again everybody, thank you for reading!