Seasons change and so do UFC champions. Let’s look at the current champs and who may be looming on the horizon to claim the throne. Whowill be the next to fall from glory, and who is ready to fill his place?
Bantamweight: Dominick Cruz – Cruz avenged the only defeat of his
career when he notched a unanimous decision victory over Urijah Faber at UFC
132 and defended his UFC crown for the very first time. Three months later he again showcased his
skills by dispatching Demetrious Johnson in another fight that went the
Demetrious Johnson meets Ian McCall in UFC on FX 2
three contenders in the UFC Bantamweight division contain two opponents who
were recently beaten by the champion in Urijah Faber and Scott Jorgensen. Rumor has it that Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber will tangle
again at UFC 148 in a highly anticipated rubber match. Both men put on a barnburner back in July and their public dislike for each other makes this a logical pay-per-view
bonanza for the organization.
man many would like to see Cruz fight is the immensely talented Renan Barao
(27-1) who pounded out a unanimous decision victory over the aforementioned Scott
Jorgensen earlier this month. Barao lost
his professional debut but has racked up 27 consecutive victories and will
likely get his hard earned shot at the winner of Faber/Cruz 3.
Featherweight: Jose Aldo – The current
featherweight king scored a spectacular knockout over the previously undefeated
Chad Mendes at UFC 142 and partied with his countrymen like it was Mardi Gras
in Rio. Aldo is a beast at 145 pounds
but his sternest competition may be coming from outside his division.
would be a magnificent match, recently deposed lightweight champ Frankie “The
Answer” Edgar may decide that he is tired of fighting bigger, stronger
opponents like the man who just took his title, Ben Henderson, and drop down to
the feathers. If Edgar chooses to remain
at 155 pounds then Aldo may be pitted against Erik Koch, Dustin Poirier or
Lightweight: Ben Henderson – The man who goes by the name Smooth
proved too big and strong for the former champ known as The Answer. Ben Henderson claimed the crown from the
supremely talented Frankie Edgar at UFC 144. Henderson will have no shortage of competition vying for his title. A rematch with Edgar is always a possibility
but lightweight contenders Anthony Pettis, Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz are also
on the radar.
Middleweight: Anderson Silva – Sure there are a list of middleweights we could discuss but the impending rematch
between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen is the only fight worth talking about
at this weight class. It appears the two
are on a collision course to take place in Brazil this summer. If Anderson Silva wins, the only exciting possibilities
would be a Superfight at a catchweight below 185 pounds with GSP or above 185
against Jon Bones Jones.
Light heavyweight: Jon Jones – The long simmering blood feud between
former bromance brothers Jon Bones Jones and Sugar Rashad Evans will boil at UFC
145 this coming April. The winner will
be looking over his shoulder at former Strikeforce champ Dan Henderson, Lyota
Machida or Shogun.
Heavyweight: Junior dos Santos – After the UFC’s announcement that
their recent acquisition Strikeforce will no longer have a heavyweight division
after mid-2012, the UFC’s heavyweight division will welcome the refugees into
their lovin’ arms. It will bolster a
division that needs fresh blood and an injection of talent.
UFC 146 will
feature the former Strikeforce Heavyweight champ, Alistair Overeem as he fights
the current UFC king Junior dos Santos this summer. The winner will have to contend with Frank
Mir, Cain Velasquez or Fabricio Werdum to name a few.