Apparently, Dana White confirmed quite a few things yesterday during a special Q&A session for tonight’s “Fights for the Troops” event. I haven’t been able to find any video of the session, but Five Ounces of Pain and MMA Weekly has been reporting the details all day long, so here’s a rundown of what White said.
–Thiago Alves will get the next welterweight title shot against the winner of the GSP-Penn superfight. I’m going to go on the record right now, and say I hope GSP beats BJ Penn. Here’s why. The UFC has two fighters waiting in the wings that deserve title shots today—Thiago Alves & Kenny Florian. If BJ Penn beats GSP, and defends both titles like Dana White has said in the past, then one of those two is going to have to wait even longer for their shot. It’s not fair to either of them. Plus, you know BJ, no matter how hard Dana tries put a lid on it now, is going to lobby to fight Anderson Silva, potentially putting the lightweight and welterweight titles on hold for even longer. And let’s not forget about the potential GSP-Silva superfight if GSP wins. Definitely don’t want to miss out on that one either. Bottom line, everything will fall into place much easier if Georges St. Pierre wins the rematch.
–The Rich Franklin-Dan Henderson winner will coach opposite Michael Bisping on TUF 9. We’ve heard a ton of rumors about who’s coaching the US team for TUF 9, but it looks like it goes back to the original rumor. The funny thing is neither of these guys have been too interested in the job. So basically, whoever wins, loses. What I really don’t get is putting Rich Franklin back on the show. He’s already been a coach, plus, he’s made the move to light heavyweight to restart his career. If he wins his second LHW match in a row, he has to go back to coaching and fighting as a middleweight to be Bisping’s gatekeeper to a title shot as a reward? We all know Rich isn’t getting a third crack at Anderson. It just doesn’t make sense. If either of these two should be the coach, it should at least be Hendo. He wants the middleweight title shot, would likely make a better nemesis to Bisping on the show, and isn’t trying to reinvent himself in a different weight class. I say give it to Hendo, win or lose.
–Thales Leites will likely get next middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva. Apparently, talks are happening now which could result in these two fighting February. I’m really not all that thrilled about it though. Anderson’s just going to end up destroying him on the feet before Leites can ever hope to use his jiu-jitsu. And what has he done to get it? Beat Drew McFedries and Nate Marquardt? Marquardt really shouldn’t even count either. Leites may have won, but we all know Marquardt beat the crap out of him in that fight. Ehh, I just don’t like it. Rather see Anderson fight someone at LHW like Chuck, Leites and Maia fight for a title shot, and see what the picture looks like then.
–Diego Sanchez will be moving from the welterweight division to the lightweight division. And, it looks like he already has somebody waiting in line to fight him—Sean Sherk. Sounds good to me.