Middleweight Soap Opera: Weidman Wants Silva, Belfort Wants Weidman, Belcher Wants Belfort

July 24, 2012
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Vitor Belfort, Alan Belcher, and Chris Weidman - UFCThere are a lot of fights that could be made in the UFC middleweight division right now, but the only problem is every top contender wants to fight somebody else.

At the top of the list are names like Chris Weidman, Vitor Belfort and Alan Belcher, who could all be considered at worst top ten middleweights, but getting them to agree to fight one another appears to be a problem right now.

Chris Weidman fresh off his victory over Mark Munoz at UFC on Fuel TV 4 believes he’s the man to face Anderson Silva next for the UFC middleweight title, and no other fight makes a lot of sense for him.

“I feel like I really deserve it. I beat two top five guys and I think I’m a stylistic nightmare for Anderson Silva. I would love to get that shot. No one else is on a five-fight win streak and beat the quality of guys I’ve beaten. I’m ready to speak up a little bit, just be confident in my abilities and respectfully call out Anderson Silva,” Weidman told MMAWeekly Radio.

Despite Weidman’s pleas for a shot at Anderson Silva, UFC president Dana White still seems unsure of who will face the champion next and there may be a sort of “round-robin” de facto tournament to finally declare who will be the contender worthy of challenging the greatest titleholder in UFC history.

So while the UFC brass makes decisions behind the scenes, the rest of the middleweight contenders are trying to make matches for themselves.

Start with former UFC middleweight title contender Vitor Belfort, who has been out of action since January, first for filming The Ultimate Fighter Brasil and then dealing with an injury that kept him out of his scheduled fight against fellow coach Wanderlei Silva in June.

Now on the road to recovery, Belfort is gunning for a big fight in his native Brazil as part of the UFC 153 card headed to Rio de Janeiro in October and there is one name on his list of potential opponents.

“Guys I spoke to Joe Silva and ask to fight with the top contender (Chris) Weidman here in Brasil,” Belfort wrote on his Twitter account on Tuesday.

“I want the belt but I am not desperate. I think Weidman is next for the belt, but Anderson Silva deserve to see who is next. So let’s make this fight the next contender. Belfort vs. Weidman, the next contender for Anderson Silva.”

For his part, Weidman doesn’t seem too interested in facing Belfort in Brazil coming off his win over Munoz in July.

“Love ya Vitor Belfort but you already had your shot at the belt, and I’m sure you will have another in the future,” Weidman wrote in response to Belfort. “Right now is my time though.”

Next up on the hit list is Mississippi native Alan Belcher, who also believes he should be close to a title shot next. Belcher is on a four-fight win streak and has looked ultra impressive in his last two victories over Jason MacDonald and Rousimar Palhares.

Belcher has been asking for every top middleweight under the sun, but as of now no one has stepped up to face him, so he’s taking the social networking route as well to try and find an opponent.

“I will fight anyone although I want to fight someone who will challenge me,” Belcher said via Twitter. “I want to fight Vitor Belfort in his home country in October.”

Belcher and his manager Malki Kawa have also been petitioning to land a fight with Chris Weidman as well, but as of now Weidman seems resigned to hopefully face Anderson Silva next.

Also don’t forget to add in top ten middleweight Tim Boetsch, who is coming off a big win over former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard. While it wasn’t the most exciting of fights, Boetsch did enough to crush the hype surrounding Lombard in one 15-minute bout.

The only thing working against Boetsch right now is a possible broken foot suffered in the fight with Lombard that will likely land him on injured reserve for the next couple of months.

While this is the fight game, right now the UFC’s middleweight division looks more like a soap opera as fighters all try to land the right match-ups.

Unfortunately, no two fighters seem to want to fight each other and it will be left up to matchmaker Joe Silva to decide who gets whom when the bouts finally get made.

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  • IanGregory364

    The headline should have read “Weidman Wants Silva, Belfort Wants Weidman, No One Wants Belcher”

    • Weidman wants a title shot without having to fight guys that could beat him.

      Belfort is a bit delusional (but we knew this)

      and yup Absolutely NO ONE wants anything to do with Belcher right now.

      Weidman doesn’t seem to grasp that only a small group of hardcore fans even know who he is and even though he has a nice streak, he ain’t gonna get a title shot until they could book that fight without most fans asking “who the **** is this guy fighting Silva?”

      Weidman NEEDS to fight a name. He’s pretty stupid for not jumping on the VItor fight, it is pretty clear that he isn’t getting the Silva fight right now, Dana has said as much.

  • atmosphere

    I think that Weidman and Bisping would make sense. Weidman is the logical #1 contender IMO, but he rose the MW ranks too quietly, so beating a tough opponent like Bisping would make headlines and would help promote Silva/Weidman much more than it would now.

    • MaritalArtist

      This Weidman/bisping fight would be even more likely if bisping escapes his stann fight relatively injury-free. Then maybe they can fight around new years?

      • atmosphere

        true…while Weidman could get another fight until then as well, Silva would have to wait around that much longer.

  • Triggerman99

    This doesn’t sound like nobody wants to fight each other. It sounds more like everybody wants to fight Weidman, but he only wants to fight Silva.

  • vzxccxvddscvsd

    Sorry to break this to Weidman but decisioning Maia and beating Munoz doesn’t amount to you being able to dictate who you fight.

    If that matters then Belforts KO of Akiyama and choke out of Johnson would make him automatically number one since he is the only MW outside of Silva that constantly finishes oppoenents.

    • atmosphere

      Munoz and Maia are more relevant than Akiyama and Johnson, and Belfort already lost to Silva in decisive fashion.

      That said, while I think that you can make arguments for either Vitor or Weidman being top contenders, I think that (1)Weidman needs to be built up more to the “casual fan”, and (2)Vitor hasn’t beat a top 10 MW yet.

      • macgrubber

        “Munoz and Maia are more relevant than Akiyama and Johnson”

        since when?

        • atmosphere

          let’s break it down:

          – Akiyama hasn’t won a fight IN THREE YEARS (since 2009)
          – AJ was a top WW, but he was never a top MW (he technically never even fought at MW)
          – Munoz is a top 10 MW, and was considered to be a top contender before his own and Silva’s respective injuries
          – Maia was a contender before and would’ve been a top 15 MW at least before he dropped to WW

  • rsnowbass

    Lets look at the facts, shall we?

    * Stann vs Anderson Silva = Garbage. Stann in over his head. Waste of PPV $$$

    * Bisbing vs Anderson Silva = While Bisbing is a solid Gatekeeper and only that, he just doesn’t, and never will have the tools.

    * Belcher vs Anderson Silva = Not sure what else to say other than I just don’t see it…waste of PPV $$$ yet again.

    * Weidman vs Anderson Silva = Weidman on a tear, impressive and young and a great wrestler…not to mention he firmly beleives in himself over Silva. INTERESTING Matchup. Advantage still SILVA.

    * Then we have the rematch of Belfort vs Anderson Silva = IMHO the best chance at dethroning the kingpin….I’d love this Rematch above all else.

    Just my .02 which means nothing. Feel free to piss on it if you like.


    • lowlb

      I agree but I think Bisping is better than you say.
      Belcher and Belfort makes sense IMO. Belcher has been around for a long time and deserve respect but I don’t see him ready for AS. GIve Weidman to AS for some schooling, he might pull of an upset.

    • Triggerman99

      Well those are opinions, not facts. Still, I generally agree, except I think a guy like Munoz or Wiedman would provide more of a threat to Silva than Belfort just based on the stylistic problems they can bring to him. However, Sonnen was the same stylistic nightmare for Silva, and Silva beat him twice.

      I think we’re asking the wrong question here. The question shouldn’t be who’s next for a MW title shot. The question should be when is Anderson going to retire or go to 205, because I don’t see him losing to anybody at MW right now.

    • MaritalArtist

      I wouldn’t piss on it. Reasonable ideas. I like vitor and Weidman very much against silva. They would have the greatest chances against silva. Also, sonnen, Evans and belcher also have greater than a puncher’s chance of beating silva. These guys: 2:1, 3:1 odds. Everybody else: way worse than 3:1 odds. That includes bisping, even though his popularity and shit-talking might make the difference if he gets by stann in a convincing manner.

    • worldchamp

      I would fairly agree with your post up until you said Belfort vs Anderson Silva. I am not interested in seeing that again.

      That’s just my opinion.

    • dathump

      I agree, but I do still see a Silva/bisbing fight in the near future, Bisbing has paid his dues, can hype a fight, if the do it in england, every brit will buy 2 ppv’s so they can nut hug there golden child all proper like, and everyone else will buy just to see bisbing get knocked the f out. I don’t give Bisbing a chance of winning, but has the potental to be a fun fight to watch.

  • natpaukar7

    I think this division needs a larger mix up…someone brought up Rockhold on another post…and I think he is interesting enough to be in this mix…though I must plead ignorance having only seen a few of his fights while Strikeforce is IMO a lesser organization than UFC. So who are the possible contenders…Weidman, (Bisping/Stann), Belcher (a joke in my opinion, as is Bisping), Belfort and Boetsch. I truly believe this is a good time for GSP and Silva if GSP wasn’t occupied with Condit but other than that…I think the best of these guys is Weidman and Belfort so those two should fight..meanwhile Silva should just fight Rockhold in order to keep himself busy of course an upset is always possible in this sport…but assuming he wins a mini tournament could happen in which the winner of those 2 could fight the winner of Boetsch and Belcher or Stann and Bisping…unless Weidman wins in decisive fashion again he is not quite there…nor do I actually believe anyone is anywhere near Silva yet. …

    I hate to say it…but I don’t care for the MW division…compared to the talent pool surrounding it on either side (WW, LHW) it is kind of weak. it represents a mound of average fighters groveling at the feet of a KIngpin.

  • MaritalArtist

    Why do some of my comments await moderation, while others get immediately posted?

    • Triggerman99

      Sometimes mine do, too. Once it happened I think because I included a link to another website (maybe??), and one other time I think there was some questionable words in my post…..like borderline cuss words I guess.

  • smill0313

    Weidman is good but he is gonna be the next one tossed off the hype train for not having a ticket. Funny how Sonnen was the man to beat silva and rule the division and now sonnenville is an effing ghost town. STFU about hype and all that. Throw weidman or ANY OTHER mw in against silva cuz it doesnt matter, they are getting ktfo.