The UFC Title Pictures: Part 1

By Marcus Pordoy
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

UFC title contention can be an incredibly hard thing to come by for a large amount of fighters. More popular fighters are often chosen for title shots, rather than fighters who have seemingly earned it with their wins. While I tend to think that it is only on a rare occasion where that happens (ie. Chael Sonnen stepping up to fight Jon Jones), the repercussions tend to cause more damage to the division.

If you add in the ridiculous notion that every UFC champion needs to partake in a ‘super-fight’ with a different division’s champion, then finding the correct title fights can get very confusing.

In the heavyweight division, we have Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos rightfully fighting for the title. How can you not give JDS the title shot after he knocked out Mark Hunt with a spinning wheel kick? After that, give Fabricio Werdum the title shot, without matching him to someone again. Werdum vs. Velasquez is an incredible matchup.

Travis Browne has been matched up with Stipe Miocic in what should be an entertaining fight, and if Browne wins that, give him the title shot. With Daniel Cormier floating around indecisively, the heavyweight division has a nice stream of contenders while it builds up younger fighters.

The light-heavyweight division can be quite difficult to clarify. Alexander Gustaffson and Jones are fighting it out this week for the title belt, with Glover Teixiera patiently waiting for his chance. Once the Glover fight is finished, you have Cormier possibly getting a title shot and if not, then the UFC better get some wins under Phil Davis.

Although i don’t see Phil getting a belt, a win over his only defeat, Rashad Evans, would definitely earn him a date with the champion.

In the middleweight division, you have Anderson Silva fighting Chris Weidman in the much-anticipated rematch. After that, throw the winner Vitor Belfort if they don’t have an issue with him not fighting in Brazil. Match Ronaldo Souza with Costa Phillipou for the next challenger, and then you have the resurgence of Mark Munoz if he can get past Michael Bisping and a few others.

Lyoto Machida dropping down adds a nice flavor to the division, as well as Rashad possibly dropping some weight. This division has many recycled challengers, and could really use some fresh faces for development.

In the welterweight division, we have Johny Hendricks fighting Georges St Pierre soon, which could result in an immediate rematch if GSP loses. After that, we have Rory MacDonald and Robbie Lawler fighting for the next challenger position.

If Rory wins, he should be pressured into fighting Georges and not hold up the division much like Carlos Condit admirably did. Match Jake Ellenberger with Martin Kampmann so he can get back into the title picture, while getting Condit and Ben Askren to fight in order to set up another match. Askren may end up getting an automatic title shot, but i think he should be tested against a man with a great guard like Condit.

The lightweight division has a newly-crowned champion in Anthony Pettis.  The obvious and only fight for him is T.J. Grant (do not get me started on the ridiculous idea of him fighting Jose Aldo, who has more than enough on his plate at the moment). With this fight happening, they should match up Rafael Dos Anjos and Josh Thompson for the next title challenger, a match that Dos Anjos should definitely win.

Benson Henderson could fight Gray Maynard for an incredibly exciting fight, with Pat Healy fighting a top-ranked guy like Gilbert Melendez for his shot at the title. Outside of that, Aldo moving up is a much better idea, as long as he vacates his title.

Marcus Pordoy is an MMA writer for Follow him on Twitter @MMAnalysisRoom, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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