After the latest UFC pay-per-view event, there is much to discuss about the future of Dana White’s company. Anderson Silva continued his dominance with his record eighth title defence after handling “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort with a first-round knockout.
The kick that ended the fight is being talked about throughout the MMA world; it was a front kick that went straight to Belfort’s jaw, but that’s not the only reason the kick is being discussed. Silva credited learning the kick from actor and extreme badass Steven Seagal! I thought he was only good for breaking necks.
The victory by Silva has opened up discussions about a super-fight that everyone wants to see: Silva vs. George St. Pierre. Everyone believes this fight is inevitable sooner than later—except me. I personally don’t think we need this fight just yet. With the expansion of the UFC, combining the WEC into their product, the UFC should spend their time trying to build up the new featherweight division instead of pitting their two most popular and successful athletes together in a fight. Fans will always want this fight and it doesn’t look like GSP or the Spider are going anywhere anytime soon. You don’t need to rush it. This fight should only happen when White believes there are absolutely no more contenders for either fighter. The longer these guys go, the more money people will drop down to see it.
One other fighter whose stock went up even more after UFC 126 is my new favourite fighter, Jon “Bones” Jones. Jones defeated the previously undefeated Ryan Bader via submission in the second round last Saturday. The fight was hyped up as a battle of the two fastest-rising stars with a potential title fight on the line. The fight was never close. Jones used his unique striking and wrestling background to stump Bader, who looked uncomfortable the entire fight.
After Jones’ victory, White entered the ring and announced to Jones that he would be substituting for Rashad Evans in his light-heavyweight title fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua on March 19, six weeks from now. This is unheard-of for a fighter to be given a title fight with only six weeks of preparation, but Jon Jones is a different type of fighter. He is a beam of light in the light-heavyweight division and he was, for the most part, unharmed against Bader. This fight does make sense if Bones is 100% good to go. Shogun is an excellent fighter, however, and defeated the former champ Lyoto Machida, who looked unstoppable during his reign.
With Jones vs. Rua and GSP vs. Silva in the works, UFC 129 in Toronto, the new featherweight division, and the abundance of new fighters appearing on the scene, it is an exciting time to be a MMA fan. It seems 2011 is shaping up to be the greatest year ever for the UFC.