The UFC’s Middleweight division is really starting to heat up in 2012 and if all goes according to plan Dana White is looking forward to being able to share some big new fights in the weight class following this Saturday’s UFC 149 show in Canada.
““Oh, we’ve got plans,” White assured reporters at the UFC 149 pre-fight press conference earlier today. “That’s all I’ve been talking about for four days. I’ve been on the phone with me and [UFC matchmaker Joe Silva] putting together some really good fights. As long as everybody stays healthy.
“And you know how normally after a fight on Saturday, you guys are like, ‘Who’s he gonna fight next?’ and I’m like, ‘I have no idea.’ I’ll have answers for you on Saturday. So we’ll see who wins and I’ll have a lot of answers for the 85 pound division.”
That suggests that at least one of those fights will include the winner of UFC 149’s co-main event which sees former Bellator middleweight champ Hector Lombard make his debut against Tim Boetsch who’s unbeaten in three fights since moving down to 185lbs.
The question is whether either of them could be current title holder Anderson Silva’s next opponent.
Certainly Lombard is someone who’s been talked about as a potential challenger since his arrival in the UFC off the back of a 25 fight unbeaten run.
Strangely, Lombard said earlier this week that he’s not focusing on Silva right now, but rather would like to fight Mark Munoz who he appears to have some bad blood with.
That’s an odd decision to say the least given that Munoz was just beaten last week, and Dana White made it clear today that’s plan is not going to come to fruition.
“If [Lombard] wins on Saturday, I mean, I don’t think he’ll be fighting Mark Munoz, he’ll be fighting one of the guys at the top of that division, not that Munoz isn’t, but Munoz has a loss right now.”
There’s some other interesting contenders at 185lbs who are currently without fights though, like Chris Weidman who made a big statement with his KO win over the aforementioned Munoz, and Alan Belcher who’s stock also rose significantly after his win over Rousimar Palhares.
A spanner in the works of all this however is the champion himself and it’s interesting to note that on the latest edition of ‘UFC Tonight’ on Fuel TV the word was that Silva isn’t particularly interested in fighting the likes of Lombard or Weidman next.
You have to wonder whether Silva may instead be enticed by Rashad Evan’s recent claim that he would move down to the middleweight division to face him for the title. Silva’s said before that he’s interested in ‘big’ fights, and this would certainly qualify as one.
We’ll have to wait until Saturday to see what the UFC has up his sleeve, but one things for sure – White is excited by what’s in the pipeline.
“I’m excited, man. The 85 pound division has never been more exciting. There’s a ton of great guys now, a ton of great fights to make and it’s gonna be fun. This next six-seven months, it’s gonna be a really fun time for the 85 pound division.
“I’m pumped. I’ll have answers for you on Saturday.”