(All in favor of seeing Anderson attempt to improve his moneyweight record, say ‘I.’”)
Since Anderson Silva has effectively cleared out the UFC’s middleweight division and will likely eventually start a string of rematches against the likes of Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson, we figured why not come up with a list of fights he could take in the interim that stoke the fires of fans.
Check them out, in no particular order after the jump.
Strikeforce: Melendez vs. Thomson went down 3 years ago.
Why it matters:
• Bobby Southworth retained his Strikeforce light heavyweight strap by defeating Anthony Ruiz via unanimous decision. Ruiz beat B-South in their previous bout the previous november, but it wasn’t a title fight. Neither was Southworth’s fight that September against Bill Mahood at the Playboy mansion. It didn’t matter though since he won that fight by verbal submission when Mahood (who later tested positive for steroids) injured his ribs. Southworth, who held the strap longer than any other fighter would lose the belt in his next fight with Renato Sobral. Since then, it has changed hands four times.
• Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez (who won the title by defeating then-champion Clay Guida) lost his title to Strikeforce U.S. lightweight champion Josh Thompson in his second title defense via unanimous decision. After defending the newly-unified title once, Thomson would lose the belt in the rematch the following April. Melendez hasn’t lost since.
• Strikeforce women’s welterweight tournament winner Miesha Tate made her promotional debut.
Unfortunately, ReX was unable to provide us with one of his famous Bellator reports this week, so you’ll have to settle for this quick-n-dirty recap of Bellator 44, which went down Saturday night in Atlantic City. First, we’ll direct you to the video above: Hector Lombard earned his 18th-straight victory (!) in a non-title bout against Falaniko Vitale, crushing Niko to the mat with a right hook in the third frame after a surprisingly dull first two rounds. Lombard’s latest performance follows such previous classics as “Six Second Prison Rape” and “A Corpse Named ‘Whisper’.”
Headlining the card, Xtreme Couture’s Michael Chandler scored an upset decision win over the highly-touted Patricky Freire in the Season Four Lightweight Tournament final, outworking the Pitbull in all three rounds; Chandler was docked a point in the third for groin-kicks. The victory netted him a $100,00 check and a future shot at Eddie Alvarez’s belt. In non-tournament action, Alexander Shlemenko spun circles around Brett Cooper, picking up his own UD victory, while Giedrius Karavackas battled back from an early ass-kicking to submit Sam Oropeza by scarf-hold armlock. Full results and video of the Karavackas/Oropeza stoppage are after the jump.
Rather than sit out for seven months waiting for his May 14 non-title bout against Falaniko Vitale, Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard will look to defend his other strap later this month in Australia. The highly-touted 27-2 middleweight fighter, will defend his Cage Fighting Championship 185-pound title against UFC and WEC veteran Joe Doerksen Down Under at CFC 16 at Big Top Luna Park in Sydney March 25.
Born in Cuba, Lombard resided in Australia for several years after defecting from the communist country following the 2000 Sydney Olympics. 20 of his 27 wins have come by finish including his record-setting six-second knockout of Jay Silva that earned him the fastest KO in Bellator history. The ATT-trained fighter has not lost since 2006 when he dropped a unanimous decision to Gegard Mousasi at PRIDE Bushido 13 and has never lost a fight in Australia. The closest he came was a draw to Kyle Noke in the inaugural CFC show in 2007. Soon after the fight with Noke, Lombard, who was then a welterweight, was signed by the UFC and was slated to take on Karo Parisyan at UFC 78. Visa issues forced Lombard off the card and prompted the UFC to tear up his contract.
(“I am on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen.” Pic: ESPN)
During the four years, four months and 16 days that Anderson Silva has had the middleweight title on lockdown, the UFC’s light heavyweight and heavyweight divisions have combined to produce 10 different champions. Think of it this way: Silva won the title by pulverizing Rich Franklin at freakin’ UFC 64, the same event where Sean Sherk defeated Kenny Florian to become the first lightweight champion since 2003. It was also just a few months after Michael Bisping defeated Josh Haynes to win season three of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Kinda seems like a lot has happened since then, huh?
Well, not at middleweight. Middleweight has been a rock – an unchanging, unshakable rock that sometimes seems so maddeningly bored with its own immovability that it just sits there and stares at its opponents for five tedious rounds. Silva’s dominance has been so thorough that it alone kind of makes ranking MMA’s top five 185-pounders an exercise in futility. Half the guys in the Top 10 have already been defeated by the current champ and lot of the other guys either don’t seem worthy or fight in other organizations. Still, we ranked ’em. Why? Because they were there, son, because they were there …