August 26, 2014 Leave a comment
I am sure UFC has some type of plan for contenders for each title. Well…maybe. Some divisions really are a mess, that I would not want to clean up. That type of mess is not necessarily a bad thing, but in most cases someone is going to be left out.
We know who is next for Cain Velasquez. It is Fabricio Werdum. But what about after Werdum. Assuming Cain wins, I have no clue what happens there. There are not many options. Stipe Miocic probably has the best resume, but I would guess he fights Junior Dos Santos next. If he wins that makes a pretty clear contender, but Dos Santos is not a easy win. You have the Roy Nelson vs. Mark Hunt fight. That doesn’t seem like a top contender match, but it is a fun fight and the winner would be fun (maybe) to watch against Cain. You have Overeem if he gets by Rothwell. Other than that, there is nothing. If I was UFC, I would just hold Stipe for Cain so he has someone to fight.
Jon Jones gets Daniel Cormier next. Atfer that…who knows? This is one fight, I do not know who wins. If Jones wins, I would imagine Gustafsson is next. If Cormier wins, I imagine re-match. I also would venture that Gustafsson fights again. The talk seems to be Anthony Johnson for him. Either way, it seems that the order of contenders right now is Cormier, Gustafsson and then Anthony Johnson. No one else even belongs in the talk. Ryan Bader and Phil Davis remain on the outside looking in towards title shots they may never get.
This division is complicated. Right now, Weidman vs. Belfort is set. Assuming that fight goes down, who contends after that? The odds on favorite is Jacare if he wins against Gegard Mousasi. But, you still have names like Rockhold, Kennedy, Bisping and Romero that want in the mix. Kennedy and Romero will sort some things out. The question is what happens with Rockhold and Bisping. They want each other, but UFC has also talked about Machida vs. Rockhold. Also, this guy named Anderson Silva is returning in January. So, Belfort is next. Then we assume Jacare has the inside track.
Champ, Johny Hendricks is expected to face Robbie Lawler in January. Who would be next after that? Three names come to my mind. MacDonald, Woodley and Lombard. Probably in that order. MacDonald is set to face Tarec Saffiedine, which is not gimmee. Saffiedine could jump deep into the title mix with a win. Woodley probably needs one more win and so does Lombard. It just seems to me that Rory is next. After that, toss a coin between Lombard and Woodley. I do wonder, who each of those guys gets next. Maybe one of them gets Matt Brown. I would say that by 2015 we would also need to talk names like Gastelum, Mein, Nelson and Thatch. This division is fresh and exciting.
The top of this is a mess. A good mess. Pettis has been on the shelf too long. But upon his return he gets GIlbert Melendez. After that you have T.J. Grant promised a title shot. I doubt he is next. You have Eddie Alvarez vs. Donald Cerrone who probably is the favorite. You have Rafael Dos Anjos coming off a win over Benson Henderson and Khabib coming off a win over Dos Anjos. That seems to be the title mix right now. My guess is Alvarez vs. Cerrone winner gets Pettis vs. Melendez winner….WOW.
Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes goes down next. After that, I am pretty sure that Cub Swanson vs. Frankie Edgar happens and that would be the 100% certain number one contender fight. The Poirer vs, McGregor fight would certainly get the winner in the mix as well. Ricardo Lamas vs. Dennis Bermudez is also a fight that gets the winner in good position. How about…Aldo/Mendez winner vs. Swanson/Edgar winner. Also, how about Bermudez/Lamas winner vs. Poirer/McGregor winner? There it is.
Barao and Dillashaw are about to go down. Raphael Assuncao seems to have the best credentials for a title shot. If Assuncao beats Caraway, there is an interesting back story with him holding a win over Dillashaw. I would also think that Dominick Cruz could be in line with a win over Takeya Mizugaki.
Someone tell me why Demetrious Johnson is fighting Chris Freakin’ Cariaso? He certainly is an undeserving contender, but who is next? I think a few names stand out although I do not think we have a clear top contender. Jussie Formiga, John Lineker, Kyoji Horiguchi, and Ian McCall.
I would guess that Rousey fights Carano next leaving the division on hold. Cat Zingano is the rightful contender. Bethe Correia adnd a few others are on the rise, but Zingano should get her shot next.