Monday, July 14, 2008

Who Will be the Next UFC Champ?

At UFC 86 Forest Griffin became the latest to have a UFC Championship belt placed around his waist. With only 5 belts to be worn in the UFC, let's take a look at who might be next.


UFC 87 will be our next opportunity to see who will challenge BJ Penn, as Roger Huerta faces Kenny Florian.


UFC 87 will also give John Fitch a chance at obtaining a title, as he goes up against George St. Pierre.


After his victory at UFC 86, Patick Cote has officially been promised a title shot to face Anderson Silva. UFC 90 (Tentatively set for Chicago) would be the first opportunity for this fight to be added to the card. To think of Silva vs. Cote being the main event seems odd, but Anderson Silva is sure to draw a crowd. If Anderson Silva is able to defeat James Irvin during the next UFC Fight Night, his appeal and the UFC fan base will both surely increase dramatically.

Light Heavyweight

The earliest we will be able to see someone challenge Forest Griffin for the LHW title would be November, but with a series of LHW bouts yet to be scheduled it's difficult to tell when this might happen. There are probably more potential title contenders in this weight class then any other in the UFC. It is by far the deepest division. Many MMA fans believe that Ryoto Machida is the likely candidate to get the next title shot, but some say he needs 1 more win before that will happen.


Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Big Nog) won the title (Or interim title) when he defeated Tim Silva at UFC 81 last February. Frank Mir alos earned a title shot at UFC 81 when he submitted Brock Lesner in the 1st round. Frank Antonio will be the coaches on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter reality show to air on Spike.

The Ultimate Fighter 8 will debut in September following UFC Fight Night 14 and will feature lightweight and light heavyweight fighters.

Frank Mir’s assistants are jiu jitsu champion Robert Drysdale, who won the famed open weight Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championship in 2007, and conditioning coach Rafael Alejarra, who has recently served as Wanderlei Silva’s conditioning coach.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira’s assistants include UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and top UFC light heavyweight Lyoto Machida.

Randy Couture is the last of the title holders to still have an interim champ take his place. 2008 saw the lightweight interim champion and the welterweight interim champion both become the official champs by beating the previous title holders.

Randy's legal battles with the UFC have many fans wondering if he will ever fight there again. Couture's primary reason for leaving was to pursue a fight with Fedor Emelienko. Now that the UFC is considering signing Fedor again (Once his 3 fights are finished with Affliction), Couture will probably be able to be pursuaded into a fight in the octagon.

There are just a few too many miracles that would have to happen in order for that too happen, so I suppose the jury will remain out on that.

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