Where Eagles Dare: The UFC's Light-Heavyweight division.

MMAPlayground.com » MMA General » UFC Forum » Where Eagles Dare: The UFC's Light-Heavyweight division.
AchillesHeel
2/1/08 1:17:02PM
It seems like it wasn't too long ago that the UFC barely had enough chum to throw into the jaws of then-champion Chuck Liddell. IFL-caliber fighter Vernon White and middleweight Jeremy Horn were chopped up and served with a side of fries. Randy Couture, Renato Sobral, and Tito Ortiz couldn't be given rematches quickly enough.

*yawn*

Now here we are, just over a year after Chuck and Tito broke records with their UFC 66 match. That fight seemed to break some kind of dam, and since then we've seen the division break out, far and away surpassing every other division in the entire sport for depth of competition.

Rampage Jackson, Shogun Rua, Lyoto Machida, Keith Jardine, Forrest Griffin, Wanderlei Silva, and Rashad Evans have stepped right up alongside Chuck and Tito. And guys like Wilson Gouveia, Houston Alexander, Jason Lambert, Thiago Silva and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou are lurking like a pack of alligators waiting for someone to get too close to the water's edge. Dan Henderson, Michael Bisping, Jeremy Horn, Marvin Eastman and Terry Martin all dropped to 185, and James Irvin and Renato Sobral have left the UFC altogether. Matt Hamill, Stephan Bonnar, and Kazuhiro Nakamura, capable fighters by almost any measure, are all on the bubble, and I wouldn't be shocked to see any or all of them fighting in another circuit by the end of '08 (all three of them would bring something to the WEC, imo).

Dana White calls the Light-Heavyweights his "rock star division", and with matchups like Liddell-Silva, Machida-Sokoudjou, Griffin-Rua already on the books and Ortiz-Machida, Griffin-Rampage and Liddell-Shogun on the drawing board, he's obviously no longer interested in pampering his stars with tomato cans and warmup fights.

cowcatcher
2/1/08 1:27:03PM
this is basically what i was getting at in the shogun/chuck thread. if shogun and chuck were fed cans people would complain that they arent fighting good enough competition, the main event isnt main event worthy, yada yada. i suspect these are the same people that think that this match is somehow bad for the sport, the fans, or the fighters themselves(whoever wins this very well could be next in line for a title shot). be happy people, we get to see the pride vs ufc dream matches that we were talking about on here a year ago now, and win or lose both guys will be fighting again for our entertainment(and a decent paycheck).
AchillesHeel
2/1/08 1:55:55PM
Right, exactly. And Paulo Filho is evidently going to move to 205 lbs after his rematch with Sonnen, although I don't know the status of his WEC contract. I'd love to see him move to the UFC, at whichever weight class.

I also wonder whether Rich Franklin would consider moving back up to 205 if Anderson Silva defeats Dan Henderson (if Hendo wins, I'd expect Franklin to take aim at another Middleweight title shot).

And I just read that James Irvin is rumored to be fighting Houston Alexander at UFN 13, so I guess he hasn't left after all.
DeathbyHighKick
2/1/08 3:01:35PM

Posted by AchillesHeel

Right, exactly. And Paulo Filho is evidently going to move to 205 lbs after his rematch with Sonnen, although I don't know the status of his WEC contract. I'd love to see him move to the UFC, at whichever weight class.

I also wonder whether Rich Franklin would consider moving back up to 205 if Anderson Silva defeats Dan Henderson (if Hendo wins, I'd expect Franklin to take aim at another Middleweight title shot).

And I just read that James Irvin is rumored to be fighting Houston Alexander at UFN 13, so I guess he hasn't left after all.



From what I remember reading, Filho signed a 6 fight deal with the WEC, the Sonnen rematch will be his third, plenty of opportunity to move up and immediately challenge Doug Marshall...
JBatch
2/1/08 3:57:04PM
The weight class is so stacked and I am very excitedto see the superstar match-ups that we've only been able to speculate about for quite some time. I have no clue who will win in Liddell vs. Rua, that fight is going to be awesome. If people want to complain about too good of fights, they will never be happy. These are the type of fights I thought we would never see in a million years.
jrmmaclassics
2/1/08 4:22:42PM
I think that is the reason people are complaining, before the talk was who is better UFC or Pride and it is much more interesting in fans eyes to be talking up fighters against each other without them having a chance to fight each other. But now these fights can and will happens, some of the fans are scared to see what might happen to there favorite fighters if they lose, even worse get knocked out or submitted.

For me I love to see the best against the best, I have a few favorite fighters, but for the most part just like to watch and examine each fighter in the fight, how they reach to different situations. It is funny how you can tell what kind of person a fan is by the fighter they back.
Image Attachment(s):
Photo Attachment 1 Photo Attachment 2