Breaking Down the UFC Middleweight Division

The Champion: Anderson Silva

The Top Contender: ?

The Next Tier:

·         Yushin Okami

·         Nate Marquardt

·         Michael Bisping

·         Dan Henderson

·         Demian Maia

·         Thales Leites

·         Patrick Cote

·         Chael Sonnen

 

On the Rise: 

·         Demian Maia

·         Michael Bisping

 

Other Notables:

·         Denis Kang

·         Rousimar Palhares

·         Martin Kampmann

·         Chris Leben

·         Ricardo Almeida

·         Nate Quarry

·         Jason MacDonald

·         Wilson Gouveia

·         Goran Reljic

·         Dan Miller

·         Dean Lister

·         Kendall Grove

·         Alan Belcher

·         Ed Herman

·         Jorge Rivera

·         Alessio Sakara

·         C.B. Dolloway

·         Mike Massenzio

·         Matt Horwich

·         Jake Rosholt

·         Amir Sadollah

 

Scheduled Fights:

·         Nate Loughran vs. Tim Credeur at UFC Fight Night 16 on December 10

·         Jason MacDonald vs. Wilson Gouveia at TUF 8 Finale on December 13

·         Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister at UFC 92 on December 27

·         C.B. Dolloway vs. Mike Massenzio at UFC 92 on December 27

·         Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher at UFC 93 on January 17

 

Match Ups I’d Like to See:

·         Yushin Okami vs. Anderson Silva

·         Thales Leites vs. Rousimar Palhares

·         Demian Maia vs. Michael Bisping

 

Other Thoughts:

·         The UFC Middleweight division is very, very underrated!  I believe it is because of Anderson Silva’s dominance.  The middleweight division does not have a clear number 1 contender, but from top to bottom I would put this division with any.  Albeit, the UFC’s competitors have some middleweight talents in the likes of guys like Gegard Mousasi, Jacare, Vitor Belfort, Matt Lindland, Jorge Santiago,and  Kazuo Misaki.  Not to mention the few solid middleweights from EliteXC such as Robbie Lawler, Joey Villasenor, Scott Smith, Frank Shamrock and Benji Radach.  The UFC is sure to pick some of those guys up

·         Rumor has it the UFC is in negotiations with top middleweight Yoshihio Akiyama.  I do not know if they call pull him away from DREAM and Sengoku, but that would be a huge add. 

·         The middleweight division is growing with adds like signing Denis Kang, the move of WEC’s division which will add Chael Sonnen and Jake Rosholt as well as guys like Aaron Simpson and Danillo Vilefort likely to come over.

·         Paulo Filho will not be in the UFC…yet.

·         TUF 9 will feature middleweight coaches with Michael Bisping being a lock.  The other names being thrown around are Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt and even Demian Maia

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UFC News: Ricardo Almeida vs. Matt Horwich at UFC 90

This is official from the UFC website, Ricardo Almeida will take on Matt Horwich at UFC 90.

A five year veteran with a pro MMA record of 23-10-1, Gresham, Oregon’s Horwich will finally make his long-awaited UFC debut this October, and with wins over Octagon vets Josh Burkman, Jason MacDonald, Vernon White, and Benji Radach already under his belt, this 29-year old battler should fit right in. Standing across from him on fight night though will be a formidable foe in Almeida (9-3), one of the sport’s best ground fighters and winner of seven of his last eight bouts, with victories coming over the likes of Nate Marquardt, Ryo Chonan, and Kazuo Misaki

Almeida is coming off of a close decision loss to Patrick Cote.  Matt Horwich is known for his IFL career in which ended with Zuffa buying the fight promotion.  This should be a good fight as both guys have solid ground games. 

UFC News: Anderson Silva vs. Patrick Cote at UFC 88 Possible

It has neen no secret that the UFC and Anderson Silva hoped to work out a title defense for Silva’s middleweight belt in September.  The expected fighter was to be Yushin Okami.  Dana White made clear that if Silva go out of his fight with Irvin injurt free then he would most likely fight September 6th and then again in December.  Here is what Dana White said now:

Okami’s out of that fight. He broke his hand. If (Silva) fights in September it’ll be (Patrick) Cote,” stated White at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference at the Palms in Las Vegas.

Patrick Cote is coming off a lackluster win over Ricardo Almeida. The fight was billed as determining who would geta  shot at the title.  It looks like Cote will get that shot and get it earlier than expected.  Okami’s hand is broken and that will allow for Cote to fight for the title.  I am sorry, but Patrick Cote is way out of his league here.  At least it will be one more step before Silva cleans out the divison.  I presume he has 3-4 more fights to officially clean out the divison.  I would say he needs to beat Kampmann, Bisping, and maybe Quarry to officially clean out the divison.

 There seems to be more plans for Silva than any other fighter in the UFC.  Why not?  He is the best and his popularity is growing quickly.  Dana White added more speculation…

“(Silva) said he wants to defend his 185-pound title. He said he wants to test the waters at 205. He did (on Saturday night),” continued White. “He’s going to defend his title again in September and then probably try to take another fight at 205.I think he wants to take his time. I think he wants to stay at 185 and completely clean out that division, go from there. (Silva) took the fight (with Irvin) on short notice, moved up to 205, wants to fight all the best guys in the world at 185 pounds, wants to fight all the best guys at 205 pounds, wants to fight every three months… uh, yah. It’s a little difficult for us to move things around, but when a guy has that mentality… I love it.”

I believe Silva’s win over Irvin means he is not done at 205.  I kmow Silva is very close to Machida and feels right now the belt is Machida’s at 205, I respect that and I really like Machida, however many people don’t like Machida.  The UFC’s worry about Machida is his marketability.  He has a upcoming bout with Thiago Silva, and a win there makes a title shot inevitable.  Perhaps Machida and Silva will never fight, but there are appealing fights out there for Silva, more than Silva-Cote.  We can think of a move of WEC middleweight champ Paulo Filho to the UFC and get a title shot, but he has to get through Chael Sonnen in September first.  We can think of a dream match at 205 between Liddell and Silva, but Liddell has to get through Evans first and he would call for a title shot if he does.  We could imagine Wanderlei vs. Anderson.  The list goes on and obviously there are more appealing fights for Silva at 205 than 185.  For now, it looks like it is right back to the grind for Anderson as he prepares for a possible Sept. 6 fight with Patrick Cote at middleweight, no sweat. 

Mid Year MMA Awards

Best Knockout

Honorable Mention: Luis Arthur Cane KO Jason Lambert, Shane Carwin KO Christian Wellish, Murilio Rua TKO Tony Bonello, Matt Wiman KO Thiago Tavares

5. Anthony Johnson KO Tommy Speer

4. Wilson Gouveia KO Jason Lambert

3. Brian Stann KO Doug Marshall

2. James Irvin KO Houston Alexander

1. Wanderlei Silva KO Keith Jardine

Best Submission

Honorable Mention: Antonio Nogueira submits Tim Sylvia by Guillotine, Yoshiyuki Yoshida submits Jon Koppenhaver by Anaconda choke, Nate Diaz submits Kurt Pellegrino, Cole Miller Submits Jorge Gurgel by Triangle Choke

5. Demian Mia Submits Ed Herman by Triangle Choke

4. Frank Mir Submits Brock Lesnar by Kneebar

3. Rousimar Palhares Submits Ivan Salaverry by Armbar

2. Dustin Hazelett Submits Josh Burkman by Armbar

1. Shinya Aoki Submits Katsuhiko Nagata by Aokiplata

Best Fight

Honorable Mention: Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante, Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia

4. Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

3. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

2. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

1. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

Best Fight Card

5. WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver

4. UFC 80: Rapid Fire

3. UFC 81: Breaking Point

2. DREAM 4

1. UFC 84: Ill Will

Upset of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Jason Day over Alan Belcher,

5. Thiago Alves over Karo Parisyan

4. Kevin Burns over Roan Carneiro

3. Fabricio Werdum over Gabriel Gonzaga

2. Josh Thomson over Gilbert Melendez

1. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson

Fighter Of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez

5. Miguel Torres

4. Forrest Griffin

3. Thiago Alves

2. Shinya Aoki

1. B.J. Penn (2 Impressive wins over Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson)

Best UFC Newcomer:

Honorable Mention: Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar

5. Rousimar Palhares

4. Dong Hyun Kim

3. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

2. Goran Reljic

1. Cain Velasquez

Worst Calls By A Ref. or Judges

5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson –  Not just that Forrest got the win, but that it was unanimous.  Many, including me scored the fight either a draw or to Jackson

4. Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum- Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in round 1 when Werdum was mounted on Vera throwing down punches.  There was just 10 seconds remaining and Vera seemed to be defending himself well. 

3. Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites — Leites got the win, but lost the fight.  He lost the fight due to two points taken away from Marquardt.  One point was justified, but the other was due to elbow to the back of the ehad that wasn’t to the back of the head.  I will confess, that another point could have fairly been deducted for an illegal slam, but I hated to see Marquardt get a loss on his record that I feel he won

2. Phantom split decisions — How was Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove a split deicsion?  How was Heath Herring vs Cheick Kongo a split decision?  The right person got the decision, but how was it split?

1. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson – Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in the 3rd round while Thompson was still standing and failed to stop it when Thompson was mounted on Kimbo raining down elbows

My UFC 86 Thoughts and Recap

Quick Results:

Forrest Griffin def. Quinton Rampage Jackson

Patrick Cote def. Ricardo Almeida by split decision

Joe Stevenson def. Gleison Tibau by Gulliotine Choke

Josh Koscheck def. Chris Lytle by Unanimous Decision

Tyson Griffin def. Marcus Aurelio by Unanimous Decision

Gabriel Gonzaga def. Justin McCully by Submission (Kimura)

Melvin Guillard def. Denis Siver by TKO

Cole Miller def. Jorge Gurgel by Submission

Justin Buchholtz def. Corey Hill by Submission

My Thoughts:

  • Let me first say that UFC 86 was disappointing to me.  I understand the main event was a great fight in many people’s minds, but it disappointed me.  Furthermore, I was highly disappointed with the other fight that was so hyped in Patrick Cote vs. Ricardo Almeida
  • Congratulations to the new Light Heavyweight Champion, Forrest Griffin.  I slammed him the whole time.  I said constantly he was not the number one contender over and over again. He fought well against Jackson.  I do not know how long he can retain the belt, but I give him credit.
  • I do not like to see someone’s belt taken over a very close decision fight.  That decision could have easily gone the other way.  To be honest I thought it was a draw or slightly to Rampage.  Here is how I scored it: Round 1 (10-9 Jackson) Round 2 (10-8 Griffin) Round 3 (10-9 Jackson) Round 4 (10-9 Jackson) Round 5 (10-9 Griffin) Total: 47-47 Draw
  • Rampage showed he has no ground game and that will be a problem against some guys.  Although the majority of the light heavyweights would rather stand and bang anyways. 
  • Forrest had great heart and a great game plan, utilizing those leg kicks which won the fight in the judge’s minds
  • While Forrest was the underdog he was the crowd favorite and the announcer favorite.  That biased commentary made me mad.  My impression of Joe Rogan, “Oh man, did you see how Forrest hit Rampage’s fist with his head, he must have learned that from Randy.”
  • I will be ticked if they give Cote a title shot.  He didn’t deserve to win.  I also had that fight going differently than the judges. 
  • I was not overly impressed with Almeida outside of round 1 and was never impressed with Patrick Cote
  • Find a different contender, you still have Okami, but also you have the likes of Bisping, Kampmann, etc. 
  • Joe Stevenson looked strong against a very game Gleison Tibau.  Tibau had Stevenson locked up in round 1 and was winning the fight when Joe submitted him.  That’s part of the game.  Joe is a class act and I am glad “Daddy” won.   He showed he is a top level lightweight
  • Josh Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle was my fight of the night.  Koscheck looked great.   I know everyone is down on Koscheck and I am not a fan, but he is talented.  Why boo the dude after he put on a great fight?  Lytle is a warrior as that cut was huge.  Koscheck is a top 5 welterweight and solidified that at UFC 86.
  • Tyson Griffin keeps getting better.  He still needs to finish, but he looked very, very good.  Griffin may be near the top of the lightweight ranks.
  • Melvin Guillard destroyed Dennis Siver and that KO was vicious.   siver needs to be dropped by the UFC.

 

 

 

My Fight Of the Night: Jush Koscheck vs. Chris Lytle

UFC Fight Of The Night: Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

My Knockout Of The Night: Melvin Guillard

UFC Knockout Of The Night: Melvin Guillard

My Submission Of The Night: Cole Miller

UFC Submission Of The Night: Cole Miller

UFC 86 Discussion

Hey this is MMAblog’s official UFC 86 discussion.  Please post comments and predictions.  Let me give my picks and you can debate me or rub it in my face if I am wrong…

My Quick Picks:

  • Jackson
  • Almeida
  • Koscheck
  • Griffin
  • Stevenson
  • Gonzaga
  • Guillard
  • Miller
  • Hill

Also, you can sign up and make predictions at www.mmapredictions.com or fantasy picks at www.ufc.com

UFC 86 Weigh In Video

Watch the official UFC 86 weigh ins here. Beware of Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s scratch n’ sniff underwear.

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