Title picture after UFC 84

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Jackelope
5/25/08 11:29:17AM
I figured I'd do a little summary of what I think is the title picture following what was, to me, quite possibly one of the greatest UFC events in it's entire history. The last time I saw a card this good was when I watched UFC 52 and sat on the edge of my seat the entire time.


Heavyweight- No changes in the title picture at heavyweight, really. Shane Carwin fought Christian Wellisch and ended the fight in dominant fashion with a standard but powerful 1-2 combination. While Shane Carwin proved he will be a threat at heavyweight, I don't believe we've seen enough of him to judge where he stands as a threat to the title. Especially considering the man on top of the hill has excellent boxing and one of the hardest chins in all of MMA. Carwin is a strong wrestler, but that's nothing Noguiera hasn't faced before, and Noguiera on his back is one of the most dangerous men in the sport. Look for Carwin to continue to run through competition until he reaches the top 5 competitors. On a much more positive note- the UFC's addition of Shane Carwin to it's HW ranks breathes a breath of fresh air into a suffocating division. Excitement and KO power at heavyweight, oh the possibilities....



Light Heavyweight- Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva, two undefeated up and coming light heavies both secured impressive wins over quality competition. Lyoto was a bit more dominant in his bout against Tito Ortiz, but Thiago Silva faced a relative unknown who proved he'll be making a name for himself soon. In my opinion both of these fighters deserve next shot at the title even over the likes of Rashad Evans. A number one contender match is in order - Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida.

Wanderlei Silva destroyed Keith Jardine in 0:36 seconds of the very first round. While more educated MMA fans could have figured this was a bad style matchup for Keith Jardine, still many fans (including Jardine himself) figured on Jardine winning. Wanderlei proved his aggressive straight forward attack is capable of closing the distance on a fighter who has good attacks from the outside, but poor footwork around the Octagon. This fight sets Jardine back a ways in the title picture, but still a top 10 competitor. At the moment, I've got Jardine relegated to gate keeper status. A win from Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson could change that.

Goran Reljic looked strong in his victory over Wilson Gouveia, but don't expect much out of the croation yet. His standup game appeared one dimensional, and his boxing inside was terrible. Still, with that kind of left high kick it's hard to count him out of any fight.

Rameua Sokoudjou appeared to have some sort of injury to his knee in his fight. His head movement and footwork were lacking the entire fight and it was heavily taped. With a few more years, the heavy hands, and the solid Judo base Rameua can prove a new kind of threat in the light heavyweight division. I wouldn't expect that for at least 2 years, though.



Middleweight- No real changes, but exciting prospects. Rousimar Palhares may have the BJJ tools to finish off Anderson Silva, who has shown a weakness to strong BJJ players, but the rest of his game isn't up to par yet. At this point getting inside on Anderson Silva gets him danced around and KO'd, but we may possibly see more from Palhares in the future. He's got strong competition to forge him or break him on that road to the top.




Welterweight- While Dong Hyun-Kim picked apart Jason Tan and improved upon an impressive 10-0-1 record, the welterweight title picture is far, far ahead of even a 15-0 record. Yoshiyuki Yoshida also dominated his opponent (much to my chagrin) John Koppenhaver, but again .. the title is far, far away. A matchup of Dong Hyun-Kim vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida also seems interesting. It's nice to see some Asian representation in the UFC, but they've got a long way to go in what is quite possibly the deepest division in the UFC. You won't get any notice in welterweight until you beat the likes of Marcus Davis, Jon Fitch, Diego Sanchez, Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, Thiago Alves, and a host of other top flight competition on a very windy, steep and rocky slope at the top of which lies one of the most gifted athletes ever to grace the sport.



Lightweight- BJ Penn solidified his ownership of the lightweight belt for what I feel will be a very long time. The lightweight division is stacked, but none other than Sean Sherk strikes me as a legitimate contender for BJ Penn as long as he stays focused like he is. Sherk was torn apart on the feet by the heavyhanded and eerily calm BJ Penn. Sherk threw some hard and crisp combinations, but he didn't have the footwork, head movement and the ability to close the distance to get inside. I foresee a situation at lightweight much the same as at Middleweight. One king reigns on the top while competition struggles to overcome his powerful gatekeepers.


Alright, well if you made it this far props to you for reading the whole thing. This was a fantastic card, and we've got some interesting happenings in the UFC over this summer. I can't wait to see what the sport brings us all!
Franklinfan47
5/25/08 11:50:42AM
I thought the most significant change was that before, I thought Jardine should be getting the next title shot (and the current title shot by all rights) but after last night, I think the Lhw landscape has changed slightly. I now think Machida should get the next title shot. I really don't see anyone else who deserves it more.
Jackelope
5/25/08 11:57:14AM
Yep, I felt the same way before. Although I understood the Houston Alexander complex that kept him from getting a title shot. That's why I said if Forrest Griffin beats Quinton Jackson we will have a different picture.

Speaking of that, though... Wandy proved why I was tired of hearing people talk about him moving down to 185. Don't get me wrong, there's exciting fights for him down there, but he's not so far out of the picture at 205 if you ask me. How can you count a guy out of the 205 picture when he's got 2 absolute dominations over the current champ???

Wandy is my hero!!!!
whardin19
5/25/08 12:15:52PM
Reljic didn't impress me at all. Yeah, that leg kick he was throwing at Wilsons arm was just crazy hard. But, his boxing didn't impress me much and when Wilson charged it was almost like Reljic got scared and didn't know what to do. Pahleares was just crazy good. This guy is a beast and I think he will be running through some guys for awhile. Maybe even a title fight if he strings together 3 or 4 solid wins. As for Thiago he really should have lost that fight. Mendes had him and he got lucky. I've heard a few people talk about a Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida for a #1 contender matchup. Bad idea for Thiago I think Lyoto wins this matchup pretty easily. I also stand corrected on BJ Penn. I thought Sherk would have no trouble getting Penn down to the ground and grinding out a decsision but that just didn't happen. Sherk tried once to take Penn down and when he couldn't he just stood in front of BJ and got tore apart. Bad gameplanning by Sherk there. Not sure who can beat Penn at 155 now. I know Florian and Huerta are fighting for the #1 contendership. But I don't really see either of these guys winning that title away from him.
imanidiot777
5/25/08 12:26:40PM
I'd LOVE to see Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida. Thiago is a beast, I've still never seen him use is BJJ game and he's a black belt they say, but his stand-up is ridiculous. Two undefeated guys, lets do it.
Jackelope
5/25/08 12:28:32PM
Yep, I felt the same way about Reljic (as was mentioned in the post) His kicking power was very real, but his boxing inside was terrible. He gets tore up by any legitimate top 10 competition, IMO. Although also like I said in the post, anyone with a kick like that has the "puncher's chance" He is big for 205, though. He's young as hell, too... so we might see more of him in the future.
Jackelope
5/25/08 12:31:53PM

Posted by imanidiot777

I'd LOVE to see Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida. Thiago is a beast, I've still never seen him use is BJJ game and he's a black belt they say, but his stand-up is ridiculous. Two undefeated guys, lets do it.



Are you kidding? He displayed his BJJ skills against Houston and in this fight. He may not have used subs, but his full mount is ridiculous. He transitions so quickly and effortlessly into the full mount that it's going to make for some crazy GnP victories over the years.

Anyway, though.. I'm all for a Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida fight. Most exciting potential match up coming out of this card, IMO. Unless they give Wandy QJ, lol.
AnDeRsonDaSiLvA
5/25/08 12:46:01PM
LHW )

Keith was IMO the number 1 contender. After wanderlai's destruction and the fact that he destroyed quinton twice. Got to mean its wanderlai vs rampage , barring forest loses. IM so happy wandy is back . Almost brought tears to my eyes.

HW) shane carwin has ended all of his fights due to strikes withing the first minute and a half. very impressive fighter , untested so far.


Jackelope
5/25/08 12:55:36PM

Posted by AnDeRsonDaSiLvA

LHW )

Keith was IMO the number 1 contender. After wanderlai's destruction and the fact that he destroyed quinton twice. Got to mean its wanderlai vs rampage , barring forest loses. IM so happy wandy is back . Almost brought tears to my eyes.

HW) shane carwin has ended all of his fights due to strikes withing the first minute and a half. very impressive fighter , untested so far.





I'm not quite sure Wanderlei will be seen as deserving a fight against QJ, yet. Another solid win on his record and I could go with it, though. Possibly a fight against Rashad Evans?
imanidiot777
5/25/08 1:00:45PM

Posted by Jackelope


Posted by imanidiot777

I'd LOVE to see Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida. Thiago is a beast, I've still never seen him use is BJJ game and he's a black belt they say, but his stand-up is ridiculous. Two undefeated guys, lets do it.



Are you kidding? He displayed his BJJ skills against Houston and in this fight. He may not have used subs, but his full mount is ridiculous. He transitions so quickly and effortlessly into the full mount that it's going to make for some crazy GnP victories over the years.

Anyway, though.. I'm all for a Thiago Silva vs. Lyoto Machida fight. Most exciting potential match up coming out of this card, IMO. Unless they give Wandy QJ, lol.



Yeah that's what I meant was that he really doesn't use it to finish the fight with subs, although he probably can.
tylerlee123
5/25/08 2:19:24PM
Machida and Thiago are definately the top dogs right now in 205
seanfu
5/25/08 4:27:17PM
Rashad Evans has been a top contender for a LONG time. Evans vs Wandy is supposed to produce the Wandy Rampage 3? BAAAD matchup for Wandy.
Evans should get the next title shot.

Lyoto vs Thiago for the next in line to fight for the number one condender.
jiujitsufreak74
5/25/08 4:33:09PM
No way in hell has Thiago earned a title shot...or a number one contender fight either. he needs a quality win over a top 10, which he still doesn't have. he should face Jardine to see if he deserves to be ranked among the best. Maybe even pair Soko and Thiago up...either way Thiago is still a ways away from the title imo.
Jackelope
5/25/08 4:58:05PM

Posted by jiujitsufreak74

No way in hell has Thiago earned a title shot...or a number one contender fight either. he needs a quality win over a top 10, which he still doesn't have. he should face Jardine to see if he deserves to be ranked among the best. Maybe even pair Soko and Thiago up...either way Thiago is still a ways away from the title imo.



I agree that Thiago doesn't necessarily deserve it, but I feel like it's something new in the UFC LHW division while QJ is the champ. Liddell doesn't deserve a shot at QJ again IMO. Jardine just lost his chance at deserving it. Shogun lost his chance. Forrest is getting his chance. Wandy needs another win before he gets his chance.

So you have this messed up situation at LHW where everyone has already fought each other, so throw in the two new guys. It'll be refreshing to see, IMO.

That, and I think Lyoto would destroy Thiago, so I'm kind of biased in wanting that fight to happen
MMAcca
5/25/08 5:09:25PM
Wandy definately needs another impressive win before he can be considered for a title shot.

He's 1-1 at the minute and Rampage is a different fighter now and imo would destroy Wandy.
jocka
5/25/08 8:42:29PM
like someone already mentioned i almost cried when wandy won man he s back but he indeed needs to stack up a couple of wins before getting a tittle shot.

there is no way in hell that Silva deserve a contender match up against Lyoto, he should fight wandy

Lyoto on the other hand should be fighthing Evans for the number one spot

as for the lw division he definitly have a king on top of the mountain at the momment and i don t think anyonein the division is going to change that, i just hope they won t set up a fight between Penn and GSP i would love to see the fight happend but Penn needs to destroy every one in his division even if no one is that much of a threat to him
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