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Evaluating Worthy Contenders In UFC Middleweight Division
Tuesday October 2, 2012 : UFC Betting – Evaluating Worthy Contenders In UFC Middleweight Division
The UFC is home to several of the biggest names in Mixed Martial Arts, including some of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. Right at the top of that list is the UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who has not actually been defeated by an opponent since December of 2004. Undefeated in the UFC, owner of the record for most consecutive title defenses with 10 and for most consecutive wins with 15, Silva is in a class of his own in terms of talent. While his brand and marketability certainly make him an important asset to the company, his presence as the most dominant champion in the history of the sport also poses a problem. After 10-straight title defenses there has been debate about which if any UFC fighter is fit to be the No. 1 contender. There has been talk about the potential for a super fight between Silva and UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in the near future as well as a catchweight fight against Stephan Bonnar, but if those don’t happen there is a good chance the undefeated Chris Weidman gets the next shot at the Middleweight title.
After losing twice to Silva in the past couple of years there really isn’t much room for Sonnen at the top, even if he is the second-best pound-for-pound fighter in the division. That has opened the door for Weidman to step up, and a perfect record through five fights in the UFC certainly works in his favor. The fact that two of those wins came against two opponents that many felt also had legitimate title aspirations in Mark Munoz and Demian Maia only adds to the likelihood that Weidman is next in line, even though his next fight will be against Tim Boetsch at UFC 155. Another big win should be enough to get Weidman his title shot, although at this point nothing is guaranteed.
An intriguing situation would arise if Weidman actually loses to Boetsch at UFC 155, as the journeyman has now racked up four-straight wins and could be a sleeper to get a title shot. Boetsch isn’t as flashy as some of the other contenders in the division, but he has gotten the job done and his pure strength and power could provide for an interesting matchup against Silva. Michael Bisping is another name that is on the radar after he took out Brian Stann at UFC 152 last month, although despite his best efforts to land a shot at the championship belt it still seems as though Dana White would like to see a couple of more wins before he gets a shot.
A couple of long shot names in the conversation to potentially fight for a title shot are Alan Belcher and Hector Lombard. However, Belcher has repeatedly been sidetracked by injuries and is one the wrong side of 30, while Lombard is coming off of a controversial loss to Boetsch at UFC 149. The stage is certainly set for one of these middleweights to step up, and which of them gets elected by White for a title shot will certainly be interesting. Silva is likely to face Bonnar at a catchweight in his next fight, and while Weidman appears next in line to challenge Silva for the UFC Middlweight championship, anything can happen. For all of the latest MMA news and odds, be sure to check out the best online betting sites.
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