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5 Oz. of Pain on CBS Sports: Forecasting the future of the UFC Light Heavyweight division

cbssportscom2.gifMy latest submission for CBSSports.com is now available.

This week I take a look at the current status of the UFC’s talent-laden light heavyweight division and give my analysis on what I think is next for most of the division’s top fighters.

Click here to fight out what I think is next for Chuck Liddell, Forrest Griffin, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, and others.

I also offer analysis on Lyoto Machida, which I am sure if bound to generate some response:

While Machida is certainly worthy of a title shot, he’s unlikely to get it unless Liddell loses to Evans. The reality is that four of Machida’s five wins have gone to a decision, and while he has made improvements, he’s still a counter-fighter that has a tendency to disappoint the crowd.

Purists will hate that this is even being brought up, but the reality is that like any other major sport, MMA is a business. And there are major concerns about Machida’s marketability. If you put him in there with Griffin, there’s a good chance he beats him. While the situation could improve in the future, it’s unlikely that the UFC wants a scenario right now in which Machida is the champion of its marquee division.

The truth of the matter is that Machida may have to go 7-0 or 8-0 in the UFC before he’s granted a title shot.

In order to read the article in its entirety, just click here.

8 COMMENTS
  • Binsu says:

    Sam,

    Any word on Rampage’s contract status? I heard the Griffin fight was the last one on his contract? Might he explore other options such as Affliction?

  • Evan says:

    Binsu

    Considering he is featured in that game, on TUF and just had a title fight I am sure he is locked up for awhile.

  • Gyro says:

    If Liddell wins, I’d say he should get the 1st crack at Forrest.

    How about a bout between Rampage(or)Wandy and Machida for the next title shot? Certainly not as exciting as Wandy vs. Rampage, but I dunno what fight you can give Machida and that gives credibility to deserve a title shot afterwards if he wins. AND he certainly deserves a shot after another win. The names on his list of wins are unreal. Thiago vs. Machida would be an good matchup, but it won’t give him the same recognition in the eyes of the casual fan. A win over Rampage or Wandy, and there should be no bitching from fans, he’ll deserve it.

  • drdsanders says:

    Liddell getting the next title shot if he beats Rashad Evens is bogus. Lets not forget Liddell is is only on a 1 fight win streak after losing 2 in a row. Both Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva are more deserving of title shots before Liddell. Silva and Machida are both undefeated with combined records of 26-0 (9-0 in the UFC). Chuck leapfrogging both of them isn’t just “marketing”, it’s corruption.

  • Are you having a laugh?. says:

    #3 Chuck has been champ for 6 title defences as well as beating the best in the division including Tito, Vitor, wanderlei, Randy, Vernon, Murilo, Horn, Monson, Babalu, Mezger, Randleman and Overeem and you think it’s corruption he gets a title shot…whatever.
    As for Lyoto I’m through defending him, he is obviously an excelent fighter but he can’t finish anyone in the top of the division. If winning on points is all he can do then he isn’t a true fighter in my opinion.
    Here is my plan, let chuck fight for the title, have wanderlei and thiago silva fight each other on the same card with the winner to fight the champ. As for Machida, he drops to 185 and fights Franlin or Okami for a shot at Silva and the MW title.

  • stevefiji says:

    Machida has done everything asked of him and beat everyone who has been put in front of him. There’s also plenty of strong rumors that much of the ‘talent’ has privately ducked him for some time now…

    So while Chuck did hold the belt for some great defenses and is a gazzilion times bigger money draw, he did lose badly to Rampage and he looked out of shape and like dog poop against Jardine…and I cannot believe that I’m the only one who was just not that impressed with either of the two in the Chuck/Wandy fight. If you rule out Chuck and Wandy who both have lost 2 or their last 3 fights, then who else is deserving other than Evans if he beats Chuck or a Rampage rematch.

    Bottom line, Machida is getting completely tooled if he doesn’t get the next shot unless you wanna give it to Rampage. Anyone else is just an entertainment vs an ethics decision.

  • Revjames13 says:

    Previously dominant and popular champions always get a fast track to a rematch. If Chuck beats Rashad (hope that hammy injury doesn’t screw him up) in anything resembling impressive fashion, he is an obvious next in line. The Jardine loss was a split decision and the Wandy win got him back in the game. Rashad has been promoted into something of a name, so that’s enough for the former poster boy of the UFC to get back in there and take a shot at the belt.

    The crazy thing is, Forrest has improved so much, Chuck might not beat him.

    Machida has a great record but is in need of a momentum building win. I want to see him face a super aggressive guy who will challenge his defensive game. Enter Wandy. He would be the best match up for Machida, with the winner being next in line after Rampage.

    Rampage should fight Thiago for his right to a rematch.

    Rua is the biggest question mark in the division. Vera is a close second.

    Anderson Silva claims to be out after the Irvin fight, but if he wins that big he is such a force in MMA that he could practically step into a title shot at LHW at almost any time without anyone complaining. That might be the secret plan behind the Irvin fight, which doesn’t make a lot of sense on paper.

  • Zack with a ck says:

    UFC 92 Griffin vs Machida “POINT KARATE – THE ULTIMATE DECISION”

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