Considering Anderson Silva has all but left the middleweight division for the more lucrative worlds of light-heavyweight squash matches and straight-to-DVD cop films, we think it’s going to be pretty difficult for the UFC to put their patented “winner gets a title shot” rub on the upcoming UFC on FX 8 card scheduled for May 18th. Sure, the event features both a headlining fight between top contenders Vitor Belfort and Luke Rockhold and now a middleweight clash between Ronaldo Souza and Costa Philippou, but when your division’s champion has been turning down the matchups that have been offered to him for months now, to what extent can you start promoting number one contenders?
Be that as it may, UFC on FX 8 will now feature a pair of middleweight showdowns that should have title implications written all over them, as the pairing of Souza and Philippou was just made official a few hours ago. Since losing his Strikeforce middleweight title to Rockhold in September of 2011, “Jacare” has collected three straight stoppage victories, including a first round kimura submission of Ed Herman at Strikeforce’s final event last month.
Philippou, on the other hand, has been quietly stringing together increasingly impressive wins since entering the UFC’s middleweight division back in March of 2011. After compiling a 4-1 record in the promotion, Philippou stepped in on short notice for injured teammate Chris Weidman against Tim Boetsch at UFC 155 and battered the top contender (and eye-poked him, and headbutted him) en route to a third round TKO victory.
So while a win for any of these four could mean a potential title shot (at least by today’s definition of “top contender”), we already know who Andy will be rooting for, and that’s pretty much all that matters.
Who do you like for this fight, Potato Nation, and more importantly, should we even fool ourselves into thinking the winner will pop up on Silva’s radar?