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Maybe Vitor Belfort Won’t Leapfrog Nate Marquardt For Title Shot After All

(Who doesn’t love a sweaty staring contest?)

When it was initially announced that Vitor Belfort was getting the next crack at UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva, everyone from Ed Soares to Belfort himself acknowledged that this was at least partially bullshit.  The good news is that, with Anderson Silva still sidelined due to a lingering injury, Belfort looks like he’ll get his chance to prove he deserves the shot in a top contender bout with Nate Marquardt.  Think of it as a rare instance of an injury pullout by a UFC champ resulting in a fight that probably makes more sense than the original title contest.  When you think about how often this type of thing has been happening to the UFC of late, it only makes sense that sooner or later it would have to turn out to be a blessing in disguise.  That’s just the law of averages at work.

Meanwhile, let’s take a step back and look at the current state of the UFC championship belts:

155 lbs: B.J. Penn puts the lightweight title up for grabs next weekend against Diego Sanchez.  If Penn retains the title, don’t look for him to turn around and defend it again any time in the next six months.

170 lbs: Georges St. Pierre goes up against Dan Hardy in March in what seems very likely to be a championship squash match.

185 lbs: Anderson Silva is still hurting and his return is uncertain.  The good news is that, by the time he can come back, a #1 contender will be clearly established.

205 lbs: Lyoto Machida and "Shogun" Rua will go at it one more time in May.  Unless something bad happens to one of them, which seems all too likely given the UFC’s current streak of bad luck.

265 lbs: Brock Lesnar is a very, very sick man.  Don’t believe this ‘back in six months’ stuff just yet.  The big man is going to need some time, and we shouldn’t expect to see him before summer.

Basically, what we’re probably looking at in 2010 is two title fights in the first five months.  That’s not great news when it comes to scraping together pay-per-view headliners.  Better start working on those grudges, boys. 

Cagepotato Comments

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KJGould- December 2, 2009 at 3:16 pm
@tallkitchenbags his intestine. Basically he's been told Sable has to put away the strap-on for a year.
exes.for.iballs- December 2, 2009 at 7:36 am
I mean punch your nuts.

Hugging them would be gay.
exes.for.iballs- December 2, 2009 at 7:33 am
@UFC fan

You better shut up before I hug YOUR nuts.
0311- December 2, 2009 at 7:21 am
The right thing to do would be give Dan Henderson another shoot. He is the only fighter to win a round against Anderson. Unless you count Travis Lutter. Who fought the Spider coming off knee surgery. I think Dana is protecting Anderson from Hendo. Worried one of his cash cows will be dethroned. Hendo admitted his weight cut for the first fight was screwed up. That he would not make the same mistake again. Hendo deserves the rematch.
UFC fan- December 2, 2009 at 7:11 am
hello Palhares-nut-hugger, welcome to the potato.
exes.for.iballs- December 2, 2009 at 7:04 am
@Ian and rob

Excellent ideas guys. After Palhares demolished every middle weight in a gp everybody would realize and respect him for the top P4P fighter that he is.

I'm ready for all you d bags to jump off this Silva band wagon.

The ufcs middle weight division is weak. I won't be impressed until I see him beat the likes of a mayhem miller or cung Le. Now there's a fight I'd pay to see.
robthom- December 1, 2009 at 8:06 pm
I agree that multi event mini GP's (since they cant fight twice in a night) would bring some unique excitement to the cards. Possibly even excluding the top 3 contenders just to organize and prune the prospects from the stragglers.

They shouldn't organize whole cards around them, but just add them in with the normal card formula. It would make watching and getting to know some of the lesser known "no name" guys a lot more interesting. And it would make the winner into an instant name and draw.
ianisthewalrus- December 1, 2009 at 6:21 pm
im thinkin the UFC should just switch over to grand prix like pride. it doesnt matter if you won last time, if your hurt, you cant fight. let the people who can do there thing.
robthom- December 1, 2009 at 6:20 pm
Vitor/Marquard is a much better fight than Vitor/Silva.

Vitor has NO chance against Silva!
Silva's much to smart and patient to fall for Vitors one trick!

But its true that Vitor/Silva has to be the bigger money maker.
tallkitchenbags- December 1, 2009 at 5:29 pm
what's the deal with lesnar? his liver give out or something?
Get Off Me- December 1, 2009 at 3:09 pm
@ Starry
No we don't....... I want Hendo back immeadiately!
MMArk- December 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm
So did Brock get injured or some kinda accident or was it some shit he always had that just manifested itself now???
Sneaky Pete- December 1, 2009 at 1:47 pm
This is going to end up being a better match up than either of them against Silva. Silva's great for dismantling people, but there's not very many fighters that can match his skill.
KJGould- December 1, 2009 at 1:11 pm
Better start working on the Feathweight and Bantamweight divisions in UFC so we have two more titles to play around with and justify PPV, more like.
Zee German- December 1, 2009 at 1:05 pm
Now that's a fight I am dying to see.
With Georges sidelined and then making an example out of Hardy, Henderson out of the picture, Anderson injured, this is great news.
Big Vitor fan here, and I like Marquard as well. This is just as good as any title fight coming up.
NealTaflinger- December 1, 2009 at 12:55 pm
All of this creates a good argument for rolling the WEC into the UFC and adding cruiserweight and flyweight titles to the mix. And the fight that should have happened was Marquardt vs. Henderson.
steampunk22- December 1, 2009 at 12:48 pm
It doesn't appear so yet, although the Marquard/Sonnen fight has been moved from the 110 card Down Under to the Las Vegas card of UFC 109 three weeks earlier.

I still think that Marquardt and Sonnen is a retarded fight, and a step backwards for Nate. Vitor knows he should fight someone else at 185 before a title shot as well, so, its a perfect match, everyone knows it, but it seems that nothing is official yet.

All three fighters (Sonnen, Marquardt, and Belfort) have no confirmed information that any of the already scheduled fights have changed. With the exception of Vitor is currently without an opponent. Yet. The only change I can find is the switching of dates for Marquardt/Sonnen. But give it a few days and we'll see.
exes.for.iballs- December 1, 2009 at 12:37 pm
You're all wrong! This doesn't make any sense! Its like I've been saying for months, Palhares is our only hope of taking The Spider down.
Its all politics.
mthomas- December 1, 2009 at 12:17 pm
I thought Marquardt was taking on Chael Sonnen in Australia. Has that fight now been scrapped?
KrmtDfrog- December 1, 2009 at 12:11 pm
"If Penn retains the title, don't look for him to turn around and defend it again any time in the next six months."

"Basically, what we're probably looking at in 2010 is two title fights in the first five months."

um.... given their paucity of title matches, I would not be surprised at all to see BJ defend the title sometime in early spring. Look at that second line you wrote.
Sabado Gigante- December 1, 2009 at 12:10 pm
Oops, allow me to clarify...

Lighter weight classes
Sabado Gigante- December 1, 2009 at 12:04 pm
This is where the addition of lighter weights in the UFC would've beautifly come into play...
831 Son- December 1, 2009 at 12:02 pm
I predict the winner getting smashed by Anderson.
skeletor- December 1, 2009 at 11:47 am
This is an awesome fight. Finally there making some sense. Does anyone think that the MW division however slim it may be is divided into two sections? Nate never fighting against Bisping, Leben (undeserving but big enough name), Henderson, Grove, Cote, Franklin, all these guys were available to fight him at any given time in the past. At least Franklin could have fought some of these dudes before they pushed him into whatever fucking division he is fighting in.
TrouserSnout- December 1, 2009 at 11:44 am
I would like to see Vitor win....and don't ever claim that you fixed my comment you fuckin noob....