The future of the UFC Middleweight division

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POLL: Who is the Likely future of the UFC MW division?
Maia 19% (5)
Jacare Souza 15% (4)
Sonnen 35% (9)
Belfort 0% (0)
Okami 8% (2)
GSP 23% (6)
UFC_Fanatic
4/21/11 11:58:07PM
I got to thinking about the future of the UFC MW division today what with all the talk and speculation about Silva moving up to 205 or staying at home at 185. One way or another, we have to face the fact that Silva probably won't be around much longer. Honestly, I don't think he will be around in either the MW or LHW division past 2012, I think he is nearing the end of his career, and I think he only wants to compete in maybe 3 or 4 more real good fights, maybe against GSP, Rampage, Rashad, Jon Jones, etc. This got me thinking about who will be the future champion of the MW division and I decided why not just post it here and get a discussion/debate going. Lets throw the few MW contenders that SF has to offer into the discussion too because we all know that sooner or later SF will get absorbed by the UFC and we'll be seeing Jacare, Mayhem, possibly Lawler, in the UFC.

Here's my take: I think it could be Jacare if he continues to improve on his striking. How could his striking not improve though? He is training with the best striker that MMA has seen to date in Anderson Silva at team Black House. His BJJ is quite possibly the best in MMA, and I know there will be some people that say Maia's is better, and I might have said the same until I learned about their matches against each other in BJJ competitions which out of the 3 times they competed Jacare won 2, and in one of them he actually tapped Maia.

There is also Sonnen who will always take the belt from (insert striker here) with 5 rounds of relentless take downs and GnP, only to get subbed by people like Maia and Jacare who will take advantage of Sonnen's inability to keep people from taking his limbs home with him.

I think it may also be possible to see Machida move down to the MW division after AS leaves as they are both very close and neither wanted to fight the other, so the move never made sense for either of them. We all know that Machida is on the smaller side of the LHW division and it isn't hard to believe that he could probably make the cut down to MW.

Hell, we could even see Shields move back up, or we could see GSP in the MW division in the future, possibly even Rashad. It's really interesting once you think about it if you ask me. You've also got Belfort, Okami, Maia, the list goes on and on.

I wanted to know what all your thoughts were on the matter.
Chael_Sonnen
4/22/11 1:02:06AM
The future of the MW division?........everyone on that list except Vitor.
UFC_Fanatic
4/22/11 1:35:49AM

Posted by Chael_Sonnen

The future of the MW division?........everyone on that list except Vitor.



I hear a lot of people say Vitor's glory days are long behind him, and I think that could be a possibility, but I don't know for sure. Vitor has a puncher's chance against anyone in the MW division, which is the main reason I put him on there. I think he can KO pretty much anyone on that list, and anyone that I haven't mentioned, such as Munoz, or Tim Kennedy, Brian Stann, with one punch. I also don't think Vitor's best days are behind him just yet. I think he still has 2 maybe 3 years of good fights left in him. I don't know if he will ever be a UFC champ again, but I do think that at the very least he will definitely be a good test for anyone that the UFC might be interested in as a potential championship contender. If they can beat Vitor, they might be championship material.
Its hard to judge how much someone has left in the tank when they are coming off of a KO loss to the most dominant champ in MMA history. Most of us were expecting him to lose that one anyway.
casketcoin
4/22/11 8:11:40PM

Posted by Chael_Sonnen

The future of the MW division?........everyone on that list except Vitor.


Jail Sonnen
UFC_Fanatic
4/22/11 9:58:53PM
I'm beginning to think that instead of Belfort and Okami, who I put in the poll because they are or recently were contenders for the belt and fought Silva., I should have delved into the realm of speculation and just assumed that Machida and/or Evans would cut to 185 after Silva leaves and put them in the poll. Pretty much, with the exception of Jacare and GSP, all the people on the list are top contenders and/or have already fought Silva. Still, the poll isn't as close as I thought it would be. It seems like most people think that Sonnen will be the heir apparent to Silva's throne. That is definitely a possibility assuming he can stay off the juice and stay out of trouble with the government from here on out. Still, I find it odd that nobody seems to believe that Okami or Belfort have a chance at holding that belt. I wonder if putting Machida or Evans in the poll would have shaken it up a bit more. Of course I can't help but think that if I had put Machida in the poll the only people that would be getting any votes would be Sonnen and Machida, with a few people here and there picking GSP, thus making GSP the Ralph Nader of the poll.
Twenty20Dollars
4/22/11 10:26:32PM
Idk if its Sonnen, because isnt he like in his mid-30's?

Yep. 34. Plus he is already a big MW so who knows he might go up to LHW later. So prolly not the future of the MW div.
UFC_Fanatic
4/22/11 10:46:47PM

Posted by Twenty20Dollars

Idk if its Sonnen, because isnt he like in his mid-30's?

Yep. 34. Plus he is already a big MW so who knows he might go up to LHW later. So prolly not the future of the MW div.



Yeah, I agree, he isn't a long term future for the division. Honestly, my biggest problem with Sonnen being the future is his sub defense. Guys like Jacare and Maia would waste no time in snatching up his arm or neck or whatever else he gives them and forcing him to tap. I do believe though that Sonnen beats just about every MW not named Silva, Jacare, or Maia, nine times out of ten. With the addition of Mayhem who has solid BJJ too, that might be another person to add to the list of people who would give him problems. Shields, if he were ever to move up, would give Sonnen problems too.
tcunningham
4/23/11 1:56:44AM
i didnt pick any of those guys. not because they cant be the future of MW but because i dont know. IMO the MW division is the most stagnant of all the divisions right now. im tired of silva and his BS but with sonnen still in the fire with the government i dont think anybody can beat silva. the rest of the guys arent either. i like vitor and wandy still but their time has come and gone. id say guys like brian stann are the future. silva cant be around forever and even thought we all know stann cant beat silva he is still exciting and still an up and comer. we will just have to wait and see
Taylor8766
4/23/11 8:20:42PM
MAYHEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
warglory
4/24/11 9:23:36AM

Posted by UFC_Fanatic


Posted by Twenty20Dollars

Idk if its Sonnen, because isnt he like in his mid-30's?

Yep. 34. Plus he is already a big MW so who knows he might go up to LHW later. So prolly not the future of the MW div.



Yeah, I agree, he isn't a long term future for the division. Honestly, my biggest problem with Sonnen being the future is his sub defense. Guys like Jacare and Maia would waste no time in snatching up his arm or neck or whatever else he gives them and forcing him to tap. I do believe though that Sonnen beats just about every MW not named Silva, Jacare, or Maia, nine times out of ten. With the addition of Mayhem who has solid BJJ too, that might be another person to add to the list of people who would give him problems. Shields, if he were ever to move up, would give Sonnen problems too.



Say that to Paulo Filho who had a hell of a time the first time around, and lost the second.
Playground_Samurai
4/24/11 12:27:09PM

Posted by warglory


Posted by UFC_Fanatic


Posted by Twenty20Dollars

Idk if its Sonnen, because isnt he like in his mid-30's?

Yep. 34. Plus he is already a big MW so who knows he might go up to LHW later. So prolly not the future of the MW div.



Yeah, I agree, he isn't a long term future for the division. Honestly, my biggest problem with Sonnen being the future is his sub defense. Guys like Jacare and Maia would waste no time in snatching up his arm or neck or whatever else he gives them and forcing him to tap. I do believe though that Sonnen beats just about every MW not named Silva, Jacare, or Maia, nine times out of ten. With the addition of Mayhem who has solid BJJ too, that might be another person to add to the list of people who would give him problems. Shields, if he were ever to move up, would give Sonnen problems too.



Say that to Paulo Filho who had a hell of a time the first time around, and lost the second.



That Paulo Filho fight is a bad example to use. The guy was talking to an invisible person in the cage.
tepid55
4/24/11 5:06:34PM
I think Yushin Okami could go on a Hughes-like run as champion.
Pookie
4/24/11 7:52:15PM
None of them are the future. I dont think any will get much better than what they are showing right now.

The future is someone else who has yet to come. None of those guys mentioned can mess with Anderson right now, so if anderson goes, i dont think you can really call any of them the future. They're all on that same level.
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