When Chris Weidman earned the #8 spot on our middleweight rankings we thought he was probably capable of significantly more. Weidman certainly proved that in the main event of a UFC fight night against previously #4 ranked Mark Munoz.
Munoz is good sized middleweight and former division 1 NCAA champion yet he had nothing for former division 1 NCAA all-american Weidman in the first round when the fight took to the mat. Weidman smothered Munoz and threatened with arm-locks, chokes, and ground strikes.
In the second round, Weidman timed a perfect counter-elbow to Munoz’s overhand right. Munoz was visibly stunned while Weidman kept hammering away with his foe collapsing to the ground and being rendered bloody and helpless.
With the emphatic and dramatic victory, many, including the FUEL TV commentary staff, are calling for Weidman as the next challenger to Anderson Silva’s middleweight throne. Although certainly warranted, Weidman will likely have to wait a little bit to see how the increasingly interesting middleweight division shakes out.
1. Anderson Silva UFC Middleweight Champion
The longest reigning champion in UFC history has still shown somewhat of a vulnerability to powerful grapplers but that has not stopped him from nearly incomprehensible dominance over the years.
2. Chael Sonnen UFC Middleweight Competitor
It is unclear where Sonnen goes after his loss to Silva at UFC 148.
3. Vitor Belfort Former UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion and Former Middleweight Title Challenger
Injury forced Belfort out of his match against rival Wanderlei Silva and his next matchup should also be a major one.
4. Chris Weidman
Weidman has looked unstoppable in his 9-0 career and could very well be emerging as the division’s preeminent fighter.
5. Michael Bisping
Many thought the decision could have gone his way but the judges ultimately favored Sonnen in Bisping’s last bout. Bisping has been building up for a long time and is now ready to stake claim to a title shot.
6. Hector Lombard
Lombard has accrued a ridiculous record fighting outside of the UFC but the former Bellator champ has now signed with the world’s biggest promotion and will immediately get a stiff test against Tim Boetsch at UFC 149.
7. Luke Rockhold Strikeforce Middleweight Champion
There is certainly a bright future for the Strikeforce champ, but by not competing in the UFC it may be difficult for Rockhold to keep his ranking.
8. Alan Belcher
Belcher has looked dominant in his last few fights and is now firmly established as one of the top fighters in the division.
9. Mark Munoz
Munoz did not appear to have much to offer Weidman but Munoz’s UFC middleweight record still speaks volumes.
10. TIE. Brian Stann and Tim Boetsch.
Two former light heavyweights who have discovered new success as powerful middleweights.