The UFC Heavyweight Title

There is a huge mess for the UFC heavyweight title.  Right now Randy Couture is still the UFC Heavyweight champ, but he says he is not coming back.  All the litigation and the news of him signing with HDNet fights and Mark Cuban seems to verify that.  Therefore, the UFC Interim Heavyweight Champ is Antonio Rodrgio Nogueira.  It is reported that Randy Couture has been offered the fight with Nogueira.  I don’t know why he would take it.  I would say there could be a few motivating factors to accept the fight for Randy.  First would be to get the UFC off his back and fulfill his contract.  Second,  many people rank Randy as the third best heavyweight behind Fedor and Nogueira.  If he really is concerned about fighting the best he could prove himself against Nogueira.  Third, the Fedor fight is still possible in the UFC.  With the news of Fedor becoming a free agent, the UFC could sign him.  If the UFC signs him I look for Randy to have two more fights.  One with Nogueira and one with Fedor. What a way to end his career.  A much better ending than the chaos and controversy of lawsuits.  He could end his career beating the number one and number 2 guys in the world to solify himself as the best. 

   Previously, Dana White indicated that Fabricio Werdum was next in line for a title shot.  At first it sounded maybe one win premature.  However, if you run through the division who else will it be?  Arlovski’s contract is over.  Tim Sylvia just lost to Nogueira.  Kongo was the apparent other option, but he just loss to Herring.  Vera is coming off a loss.  Mir is still a few fights away from the title shot. Therefore Werdum seemed like a decent option.  However, werdum is going to fight Brandon Vera this summer.  The winner will be a contender.  I would assume that before that fight the UFC will book a fight for Nogueira.  Since Werdum is fighting someone else that only leaves me to conclude the UFC has someone else in mind.  They could have counted on Kongo, but his loss blew that.  I think that leaves just four options…

1. Randy Couture could fight Nogueira.  That all hinges on Fedor being signed.  This is the firsdt option for the UFC.  However, if the UFC signs Fedor and Randy first fights Nogueria, a loss would make it hard to make the Fedor vs. Randy fight work.  Fedor is bound to get a title shot right away.

2.  Andrei Arlovski could fight Nogueira.  Event hough his contract has expired and he is a free agent, he could still get the fight.  He is the best heavyweight in the UFC besides Randy and Nogueira.  However, he has to sign first.  If he signs this is a good possiblity and could come with Randy’s belt beign stripped. 

3. Fedor could sign and fight Nogueira.  We would assume Fedor would win and then Randy would be offered this fight.  That is very possible.  However, I remember when everyone planned on the Chuck vs. Wanderlai fight and Rampage messed that up. I don’t want Nogueira to spoil that fight, even thoguh I like Nogueira. 

4. Werdum could fight Nogueira.  The fight with Brandon Vera could be scratched and he could fight Nogueira if all the above doesn’t work out.  Or the UFC could hold off until Fall sometimes on any title defense in the division and Werdum could beat Vera and still be the next to fight Nogueira. 

5.  It could be someone else to fight Nogueira.  Not likely.  Who would it be?  Kongo lost.  Herring just fought and lost to Nogueira.  Sylvia just lost to Nogueira a re-match would be a horrible idea.  Gonzaga is coming off two losses.  Jake O’Brien lost.  Frank Mir is a possibility, but he still seems a fight or two away from contention.  Brock Lesnar?  Ha!  Eddie Sanchez?  Haha! Cro Cop left and went to DREAM for now.  Another guy not currently in the UFC?  Who?  It won’t be Josh Barnett.  It won’t be the other Emelianenko.  It won’t be someone like Kimbo…yet.  It won’t be Ricco Rodriguez.  It won’t be Ben Rothwell.   That exhausts the MMA heavyweights….

The bottom line is the only realistic options are Randy, Fedor, or Werdum, with Vera and Mir standing on the outside looking in.

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