UFC’s Light Heavyweight divison

The most confusing divison to me is the lightheavyweight divison.  They have beat each other up.   I do not know if the people in line for title shots are in order of who the best fighters are.  Here are my predictions…

1. Chuck Liddell’s next fight will be Keith Jardine.  He is already calling for Jardine. He could get another Jackson fight if Forrest beats Jackson.  Even though Jardine beat Liddell I don’t think Jardine is a top 5 guy.  I think Liddell is better.  Perhaps we do not realize how good Jardine is.  He did beat Forrest.  He lost to Houston Alexander, but maybe he overlooked him somewhat.   I still say Liddell would win a rematch.

2. I do not consider Forrest the number 2 lightheavyweight and reluctantly would have him in my top 5.  Who has he beaten before Shogun?  Stephan Bonnar (barely).  He lost to Jardine badly and now is getting a title shot because he beat Shogun?  Granted Shogun was widely considered a gimmer for the title, but come one.  The UFC likes Forrest and is handing him this chance becuase of what he has done for the sport and because he is very popular. 

3. Shogun is still one fight away from a title shot.  If he wins his next fight he will get to fight the winner of the Jackson vs. Griffin fight.  It would be a re-match either way for him.  I would bet on Shogun either way.  In other words, Shogun will hold the title in 2008. 

4. It looks like Lyoto Machida will fight Tito Ortiz.  I have Machida ranked four or five places above and would pick him to beat Ortiz who is busy with other things besides training, such as The Apprentice and acting. 

5.  Along with Lyoto Machida you have to consider Thiago Silva a up and coming contender. 

6.  Rashad Evans still needs a big win to be considered for title shots.

7.  It seems Matt Hammil and Stephan Bonnar will square off in April.  I would say Hammil can move up in the divison with a win here and some other people loosing

8.  Wanderlai Silva is not out of the picture yet either.  I look for him to fight a big name guy next, perhaps Shogun, Sokoudjou, Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans or even Houston Alexander.  If I was matchmaker Joe Silva I would schedule a Wanderlai Silva vs. Thaigo Silva, Sokoudjou vs. Houston Alexander in a bout of strikers, and Shogun vs. Rashad Evans for a shot at the title. 

9.  Look for Joe Silva to take the six above mentioned fighters and square them off somehow.  The winners will move closer to a title shot and the losers will have to make up some ground. 

10. I am not sure if Dan Henderson is at Middleweight to stay.  He is still in my top 3 lightheavyweights.

11.  My order for who deserves a title shot right now (if they were to line up one by one without having to fight each other, so it won’t happen this way) would be: Forrest Griffin (just because I know he is getting the next shot), Shogun, Chuck Liddell, Thiago Silva, Wanderlai Silva, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans, Keith Jardine, Sokoudjou, and Tito Ortiz.

12. How can you not want to see a Chuck Liddell vs. Wanderlai Silva rematch.  I am hoping for it.  What a fight that was! It couldn’t have been any better, even a few years ago. 

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