twitter google

Anderson Silva’s Next Opponent Announced

Hey, I hear Nate Marquardt isn't doing anything.

For everyone that was good enough to listen to the debut episode of Jackal Radio, my opposition to this news will come as no surprise. Via the Los Angeles Times:

Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White told The Times his organization has struck verbal deals for Anderson Silva to defend his middleweight championship against Vitor Belfort on Jan. 2 in Las Vegas.

My main beef isn’t that Dan Henderson or Nate Marquardt deserved the next shot – beating Michael Bisping does not a #1 contender make, and as much as I love Nate, the feebleness of his last performance against Silva is still fresh in the minds of many fans. No, my problem with this fight is that Vitor Belfort is still 0-0 in the UFC at middleweight, having competed at 205 or higher for the vast majority of his career. After back to back KO victories at 185 in Affliction (and the most recent taking less than 40 seconds against Matt Lindland), Belfort fought Rich Franklin at a 195 lb catchweight, which means that his first ever fight with the organization at 185 will also be a title shot. I don’t think that has ever happened in the history of the UFC…

…except, of course, for Dan Henderson, whose first fight at 205 in the UFC was against Rampage to unify the belts. In a perfect world, we’d see Dan involved in a #1 contender’s match before Vitor got the call, but at this point, I can’t even safely say that Dan didn’t turn down such a fight. He was definitely promised the next shot at the belt, and Nate was also teased with a shot if he ended Maia in an impressive fashion (um, he did). All in all, it’s a gigantic clusterfuck that ended up with Vitor getting the first crack despite and because of the fact that he’s fresh meat. I still disagree with the decision, but I do get why they’re going ahead with it.