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Could We Be Looking at a Middleweight #1 Contender Tournament By the End of 2012?

(Our approximate reaction upon hearing the news.) 

When we laid out a possible plan to sort out the UFC’s middleweight division earlier this week, we did so by offering several plausible matchups that we felt would most effectively separate the true contenders from the delusional gatekeepers. Some applauded our effort, some offered different, yet equally effective alternatives, and some relied on the time tested effectiveness of sending death threats to our Twitter account, or what they assumed was our Twitter account. MWAHAHAHA!!!

However effective you thought our plan may have been, it’s looking like the UFC could be pursuing a completely different and much more intriguing option to solve the dilemma at 185 lbs.: a good old fashioned tournament. And although the flyweight tournament had some hiccups of its own, we would be hard pressed to find a more efficient method of determining a number one contender than this. But before we jump the gun, just check out what Dana White recently told Ariel Helwani (and what BG just implied) and decide for yourself:

We’re working on so much crazy shit right now — you know how I get. I get all nutty and start telling you shit I’m not supposed to be telling you. We’re working on really, really exciting stuff that we’re just going to kill it at the end of this year. Some really fun stuff…. I am very excited about the 185-pound division — it’s all I’ve been talking about for the last four days. I was on the road, in Australia, on the phone every day talking about the 185-pound division. It’s never been more exciting. I will let the cat out of the bag on Saturday about what we are going to do. Whoever wins on Saturday, I will have answers for you at the press conference.

We hate to prematurely celebrate, but…

With so many plausible contenders currently floating around the middleweight pool, so to speak, you’ve gotta imagine that Dana is hinting at something much bigger than a possible Boetsch/Lombard winner vs. Chris Weidman number one contender bout. Considering he’s also hinting at the end of the year, which has and always will be the best time of the year to be an MMA fan, White must be talking about a tournament, right? RIGHT? Agree or disagree in the comments section. And by disagree, we mean agree.

Check out a video of the interview below.

As noted by Helwani, The Baldfather was uncharacteristically amped throughout his interview, and dished on everything from Urijah Faber’s chances of getting another title shot down the line if he fails to deliver against Renan Barao on Saturday (hint: they aren’t great) to the validity of Dave Meltzer’s recent report on the Showtime/Zuffa deal that apparently blocks Strikeforce fighters from signing with the UFC .

When the topic of Hector Lombard was brought up, however, White revealed a rather interesting bit of info the former Bellator middleweight kingpin:

I hear things about him, you know. A lot of other fighters aren’t big fans of him and, you know, understand this…you’re dealing with fighters. We have an entire roster of guys that are really good guys, mild mannered, but every once in a while you’re going to find those guys that aren’t. And they’re mean, and their nasty, and he’s definitely one of those guys. 

A word to the wise, Potato Nation: Don’t ask Hector Lombard for the typical fist pose photo should you happen to run into him on the street, or you will more than likely find that fist somewhere unexpected and less than favorable. Just sayin’.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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dranokills- July 21, 2012 at 8:03 am
If Hector Lombard is so stupid as to attach any fan for asking for a picture or any reason he will not last long, he will be a penniless, in jail motherfucker. He better learn real fast that reality is you don't swing those meat-hooks unless you are getting paid to do so. He sounds like a dumbass to me.

shout out my brotha from oz!
fatbellyfrank- July 20, 2012 at 11:47 pm
As long as the tournament is held over max 2 consecutive daya I'm all for it, if it drags out, replacements have to be brought in etc etc it becomes pointless
azbadinals- July 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm
From the "pulling ideas out of my wazoo" department: Maybe GSP has gotten a TRT exemption and has been piling on the pounds for the past 9 months... GSP vs. Silva, GOOOOO!!!
Lesnarischamp- July 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm
maybe it'll be a two-fold thing. if lombard wins impressively on the weekend, he gets the next shot and if not, then weidman gets it. AND then there's a MW tournament on top of that. With like the extra man from weidman/lombard/boetch, and the winners of shields/herman, okami/palhares, plus belcher.
ArmFarmer- July 20, 2012 at 11:46 am
I honestly don't understand why anyone would be happy about this.. they should be trying to get Anderson as many fights as they can before he calls it quits. A tournament will only a. delay his next fight for who knows how long and b. provide the possibility for upsets, and a shit challenger at the end of it. Kind of like When Travis Lutter won tuf and got his title shot.
Fried Taco- July 20, 2012 at 11:44 am
I think it's going to be a one-night tournament in Japan, where they can get away with it. In fact, it will be called "UFC Pride Reflection - Soccer Kicks are Legal!!!"
ArmFarmer- July 20, 2012 at 11:42 am
I don't get why I should be excited for a tournament in the weakest division in the sport? It didn't exactly go as planned for strikeforce.. it actually just ruined superfights.. much like this will if Lombard loses to some scrub like bisping. That's assuming Anderson hasn't retired by the time this thing is over. Considering it takes months from one fight to the next, it sounds like a fantastic way to bring mw to a screeching halt.
knucklesamitch- July 20, 2012 at 11:36 am
A tournament is pointless until Silva is vacating the title to move up to 205. A tournament to earn a shot at Silva for the middleweight strap would effectively do 2 things. 1. Anderson fights a clear cut contender who earned his shot by stringing a couple wins in a row in a tournament. 2. It eliminates all other future contenders because anyone in the tournament who doesn't win it, is now coming off a loss.
Crow42- July 20, 2012 at 10:54 am
Yeah I ran in to the comment problems a few times
Sucks too cause I think the comments are the best part of this site.
I love to hear what the nameless, faceless and the masses think
beetle_tits- July 20, 2012 at 10:44 am
That .Gif is of my best friends daughter chevelle. haha. Its funny at how that vid and gif blew up so big and is still making rounds
J.Jones- July 20, 2012 at 10:23 am
@Dizzy (and everyone else with this problem) Simply make sure you're signed in before you comment, or copy your comment before you sign in. It's not exactly rocket science, or even the hieroglyphics you used to have to decipher to comment. Apologies for the inconvenience, though.
The_Dead_Cow- July 20, 2012 at 10:19 am
Considering all the recent fighter injurys this year, a tourney is a great idea. I'm quite positive it will be concluded by the end of the year.
RearNakedSpoon- July 20, 2012 at 10:13 am
If I wanted to see fighters with barely enough talent to make it into the UFC compete in a tournament I would watch TUF. It's just a way to guarantee that one of those momo's at 185 a couple more wins in a row. They only want to do it because it will give an impression that the person who scrapes their way into some consecutive wins is the contender but what happens after? Can anyone who gets knocked out of the tournament then be seen as the worthy of the next shot?? No.
Then they will definitely have no one of note in the division and have to disband it as I already suggested.

Maybe this is something Silva offered as a final contract. Let him crush some cans tournament style so people think he cleared a competitive division and then get the fuck out of there before he is forced to pick on fighters his own size at 205.
Dizzylittlelord- July 20, 2012 at 10:04 am
also if there is a tournament wont andy be too old to fight the winner by the end or is he moving to another division or catchweight for a superfight then retiring and the tourney is for the new king
Dizzylittlelord- July 20, 2012 at 10:03 am
site is great articles and news are what i come here for as well as the humour and banter and then i try and join in and write a solid comment and it asks me to sign in and the reloads the page and my comment disappears apart from one fucking letter. my furby remembers my name better than you guys
amsterdamheavy- July 20, 2012 at 10:24 am
If you get the login prompt, X out and copy your comment, login, and then paste it - Yes, it sucks a big dick but thats how to deal with it
The_Dead_Cow- July 20, 2012 at 10:17 am
I remember my first beer
Dizzylittlelord- July 20, 2012 at 10:01 am