The new UFC light heavyweight champion of the world is Forrest Griffin. While Rampage is beloved and great for the UFC and for marketing, Forrest Griffin has been billed as perhaps one of the most beloved and popular mixed martial artists in the world. Forrest’s win was great for the UFC. It was great the The Ultimate Fighter. And it brings up the question as to who will Griffin fight next? I do not know how bad Griffin was hurt, but I would have to think the UFC would love to see him fight in September in Atlanta. He is a Georgia native and it would be awesome. I do not know if the timing is right and that card already has one huge main event fight with Chuck vs. Rashad. I still look to see him fight again by year end. In my opinion there are 4 fights that could happen for him at his next fight…
1. A Re-Match with Quinton. Quinton is now the number one contender. I am sure he would love the re-match and would love to get his belt back. The question for him will be 2 things. 1. How is his leg? 2. Will the UFC want him to win a fight before he gets a title shot? I would say a re-match would make tons of money and people would run to see it, but I’d kind of like to see it built up a while and see Quinton win a fight to earn it. If you do that you make for 3 blockbuster fights rather than one because Forrest would get one title defense, Quinton would fight once and then ideally you woul follow up with the re-match.
2. Chuck Liddell. A Liddell vs. Griffin fight would be a huge blockbuster. You could market it as the coach vs. the student of the Ultimate Fighter. You could bill it as the two most popular light heavyweights. That fight would be huge, and if I was Dana I would hope that somehow Rashad gets out of that UFC 88 fight and you could make a huge fight in Griffin’s backyard. I doubt it will happen like that, but some have suspectd a Liddell vs. Griffin year end fight. Chuck has to get through Rashad first.
3. Lyoto Machida. He has earned a top 3 spot in the divison. However, many people feel like his fights won’t sell. He is an awesome fighter and is feared by many. He deserves a shot, but Forrest is on record as saying he wants nothing to do with Machida. I don’t look for this to happen, but I do look for Machida to be scheduled for a big fight soon.
4. Anderson Silva. If and only if Anderson Silva steam rolls through James Irvin you could see this fight happening. Silva wants to fight more and this could be his ticket. His next fight is July 19th and after that he is expected to fight Yushin Okami at UFC 88 for the middleweight title defense. A December fight between Silva and Griffin could happen, but I don’t look for it. The reason: I doubt the UFC would sacrifice Forrest that readily even to Anderson Silva.
The UFC could shock us and put Griffin against some other good contender. I never expected Forrest to get the title shot and he did. It won’t be Wanderlei Silva. They could pull out someone like Dan Henderson, Thiago Silva, or Sokoudjou, but I doubt it. We could see someone like Keith Jardine come in and fight him for a re-match or Shogun, but I doubt it. I think Forrest’s next fight will be between the four names I mentioned above (Jackson, Machida, Liddell, or Anderson Silva).
Filed under: Anderson Silva, Brandon Vera, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Dana White, Forrest Griffin, Luis Arthur Cane, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Rashad Evans, Thiago Silva, Wanderlei Silva | Tagged: Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Forrest Griffin, Keith Jardine, Lyoto Machida, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, Rashad Evans, Thiago Silva |