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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DREAM 6 Quick Results

Middleweight Grand Prix Semi-Finals:

  • Gegard Mousasi def. Melvin Manhoef via submission (triangle choke) — Round 1, 1:28
  • Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza def. Zelg Galesic via submission (arm-bar) — Round 1, 1:27
  • Middleweight Grand Prix Finals:

  • Gegard Mousasi def. Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza via KO (upkick) — Round 1, 2:15
  • Non-Tournament Bouts:

  • Alistair Overeem vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic ruled a no-contest due to knees to the groin
  • Shinya Aoki def. Todd Moore via submission (neck crank) – Round 1
  • Yoshihiro Akiyama def. Masanori Tonooka via submission (arm-bar) – Round 1
  • Hayato “Mach” Sakurai def. Kuniyoshi Hironaka via unanimous decision
  • Sergei Kharitonov def. Jimmy Ambriz via submission (strikes) – Round 1
  • Masakatsu Funaki def. Ikuhisa Minowa via submission (heel hook) – Round 1
  • Atsushi Yamamoto def. Hideo Tokoro via unanimous decision  
  • Keita Nakamura def. Adriano Martins via split decision
  • Andrews Nakahara def. Dong Sik Yoon via TKO (strikes) — Round 2
  • Best Non-UFC Fighters

    Here are the best non-UFC fighters.  This shows where the UFC is stacked and where they lack.  There competition is mainly in Affliction at heavyweight and DREAM at lightweight.  Here are the best non-UFC guys that the UFC should look to sign if possible. 

    Rank

    Heavyweight

    Light Heavy

    Middleweight

    Welterweight

    Lightweight

    1

    Fedor Emelianenko

    Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

    Paulo Filho

    Jake Shields

    Takanori Gomi

    2

    Andrei Arlovski

    Ricardo Arona

    Matt Lindland

    Carlos Condit

    Shinya Aoki

    3

    Josh Barnett

    Rafael Feijao

    Robbie Lawler

    Jay Hieron

    JZ Calvancante

    4

    Tim Sylvia

    Vladimir Matyushenko

    Kazuo Misaki

    Nick Thompson

    Eddie Alvarez

    5

    Ben Rothwell

    Babalu Sobral

    Gegard Mousasi

    Mach Sakurai

    Mitsuhiro Ishida

    6

    Mirko Cro Cop

    Tito Ortiz

    Vitor Belfort

    Mike Pyle

    Joachim Hansen

    7

    Roy Nelson

    Steve Cantwell

     “Jacare” de Sousa

     

    Tatsuya Kawajiri

    8

    Aleks Emelianenko

    Brian Stann

    Jason Miller

     

    Josh Thomson

    9

    Antonio Silva

     

    Melvin Manhoef

     

    Gilbert Melendez

    10

    Alistair Overeem

     

    Murilio Rua

     

    Vitor Ribeiro

    11

     

     

    Cung Le

     

    Jamie Varner

    12

     

     

    Denis Kang

     

    Ryan Schultz

    13

     

     

    Joey Villasenor

     

    KJ Noons

    14

     

     

    Frank Shamrock

     

    Nick Diaz

    15

     

     

    Yoshihiro Akiyama

     

    Caol Uno

    16

     

     

    Jorge Santiago

     

     

    17

     

     

    Chael Sonnen

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef

    At DREAM 4 Melvin Manhoef destroyed legend Kazushi Sakuraba, watch and see…  Next up for Manhoef…the semi-finals of the middleweight Grand Prix against either Jacare, Zelg Galesic, or Mousasi.

    Vodpod videos no longer available.

    more about “Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Melvin Manhoef “, posted with vodpod

     

    DREAM 4 Results and Thoughts

    Quick Results from DREAM 4:

    Shinya Aoki defeats Katsuhiko Nagata by Submission (Gogoplata) in Round 1:  5:12
    Alistair Overeem defeats Tae Hyun Lee by  KO (Punches)  at :36 of round 1
    Ralek Gracie defeats Alavutdin Gadzhiyev by armbar submission at 3:02 of round 1
    Hideo Tokoro defeats Darren Uyenoyama by unanimous decision
    Gegard Mousasi defeats Dong Sik Yoon by Unanimous Decision
    Zelg Galesic defeats Taiei Kin by TKO (Elbow Injury) at 1:05 of round 1                                                Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza defeats Jason “Mayhem” Miller by unanimous decision
    Melvin Manhoef defeats Kazushi Sakuraba by TKO (Punches) in round 1

    Most Impressive Performance: Melvin Manhoef

    Knock Out Of The Night: Alistair Overeem

    Submission Of The Night: Shinya Aoki

    • Jacare proved he can fight with the best at 185 lbs.
    • Shinya Aoki had an excellent submission on Nagata (a gogoplata)
    • Alistair Overeem had a vicious KO
    • Melvin Manhoef rolled through Japanese legend Sakuraba

    Also: The Semi-Finals were announced for the lightweight Grand Prix, which is to be held in July at DREAM 5.  They are Tatsuya Kawajiri vs. Eddie Alvarez and Caol Uno vs. Shinya Aoki. 

    If I Could…

    Okay, let me play dreamer for a minute.  If I was employed by the UFC and I could sign 3 guys from each weight class, who would I sign…?

    Heavyweight:

    • Fedor Emelianenko
    • Josh Barnett
    • Randy Couture

    Also Considered: Roy Nelson, Brett Rogers, and Ben Rothwell

    Light Heavyweight:

    • Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
    • Ricardo Arona
    • Valdimir Matyushenko

    (Also Considered: Babalu and Brian Stann)

    Middleweight:

    • Ronaldo “Jacare” de Souza
    • Paulo Filho
    • Robbie Lawler

    Also Considered: Lindland and Jason “Mayhem” Miller

    Welterweights:

    • Jay Hieron
    • Jake Shields
    • Carlos Condit

    Also Considered: Hayato Sakurai and Nick Thompson

    Lightweights

    • Takanori Gomi
    • Gilbert Melendez
    • Gesias Calvancante

    Also Considered: Eddie Alvarez and Shinya Aoki and Urijah Faber if he would move up

    Fighting Organizations Rankings

    I have ranked the organizations before, but here is the updated rankings of who has the best product.

    1. UFC – Still the best of the best.  Has more ranked fighters by far.  Has the most recognizable names in the likes of Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Shogun, Wanderlei Silva, Rampage Jackson, Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes and B.J. Penn.

    2. Affliction – By far the best competitive heavyweight divison with Fedor, Tim Sylvia, Aleksander Emelianenko, Josh Barnett, Ben Rothwell, Pedro Rizzo and maybe Arlovski.  Not to mention Lindland, Whitehead and Babalu. 

    3. WEC –  The WEC has some star power, but is in the UFC’s shadow majorly.  The growing featherweight divison will help them as will the bantamweight with star Miguel Torres.  Guys like Condit, Stann, Filho and Faber give WEC the name recognition.  WEC still seems to be the minor league UFC.  Their success will not come with the bigger fighters, but with lightweights, featherweights and bantamweights. 

    4. EliteXC –  Their CBS deal will help them.  Kimbo can be a star.  They do great partnering with other promotions like Strikeforce and allowing guys to fight in DREAM. 

    5. DREAM – DREAM 1-3 have been solid with solid fighters especially lightweights and middleweights. Has guys like Aoki and Ishida as well as Caol Uno and Kwajiri. Has other guys fight for them like Alvarez, Gilbert Melendez, JZ Calvancante, Diaz, Cro Cop, Jason Mayhem Miller, Manhoef, Denis Kang, Mark Hunt, Jacare, Kid Yamamoto, Sakurai and Hansen. 

    6. Strikeforce – They have a few good fighters which helps them greatly.  They have Thomson, Le and Melendez

    7. World Victory Road –  They don’t have an American appeal, but they do have Gomi and some other solid Japanese fighters.  Also they have Kazuo Misaki, Kevin Randlemen, Jeff Monson, and Nick Thompson