It’s time to talk title shots, specifically in the UFC’s welterweight and middleweight divisions.
It’s been rumored for weeks, but today at the UFC 113 pre-fight press conference, Dana White confirmed that the winner of the Josh Koscheck vs. Paul Daley fight will get a title shot against Georges St. Pierre. What Dana didn’t confirm was the other half of that rumor — whether or not the winner would coach opposite GSP on TUF 12. Dana also failed to mention Jake Shields, all of which could be a strong indication that it will take awhile to sign him.
In the middleweight division, Chael Sonnen is scheduled to face Anderson Silva at UFC 117, however Dana White is already thinking a few steps ahead. After Sonnen, the plan is to give Vitor Belfort the next title shot, and if Anderson should successfully defend his title against both Sonnen and Belfort, Dana wants him to make a permanent move to light heavyweight.
White’s plan with Silva is two more fights at middleweight (against Chael Sonnen in Oakland this August and then, if victorious, Vitor Belfort). If Silva wins those, White said he wants him to move up in weight class permanently. Fights against big, dangerous guys such as Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson or even Brock Lesnar will force Silva to compete.
Sounds like a plan to me, though I would like to see Belfort get a win at middleweight in August/October when his shoulder is 100% since it’s already been 16 months since he even fought at 185.
Update: Dana White says you’re crazy to suggest Vitor Belfort isn’t a top contender at 185.
“Vitor is a worthy opponent that I think people will want to see,” White said. “He’s a former champion at 205 pounds. He’s a legend in the sport. I’ve had my issues with Vitor in the past, too, but to say that Vitor isn’t a top contender at 185 is crazy.
Dana added that in order for Anderson to move to light heavyweight, he will need to vacate the middleweight title. They aren’t going to let him do both anymore.
“What he wants to do I think is keep his 185-pound title and fight at 205, which you can’t do,” White said. “You have to vacate that title and move up.”
Something tells me this isn’t going to go as smooth as Dana White hopes. With Machida and Lil Nog at 205, Anderson isn’t going to be interested in the light heavyweight title judging from his comments in the past.