UFCThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books.
UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.
After losing his belt to Rashad Evans, and then suffering a humbling knockout defeat to Anderson Silva, former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin got his career back on track at UFC 106 with a split decision victory over Tito Ortiz.
Immediately after the event there was a strong push, from Ortiz in particular, for a rematch, with both Griffin and UFC boss Dana White appearing willing to entertain the idea. There was also speculation that the two could coach the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter ahead of the rubber match.
That idea now appears to have been put on hold however after the weekend announcement that Ortiz will now coach opposite Chuck Liddell on the upcoming season of the show.
Another likely match-up appeared to be Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, who got off to an impressive start in the division by convincingly defeating up and coming prospect Luiz Cane.
In a recent poll on this site asking who Nogueira should fight next, the most popular match-up by far with 44% of the vote was Forrest Griffin. Despite the interest in that fight, it has just been announced that Nogueira will now face Brandon Vera at UFC 109 instead.
So where does that leave Forrest Griffin?
Firstly he needs time to heal from a foot injury which is likely to keep him from competing in the early stages of 2010. After that Griffin himself has stated that he wants to continue to challenge himself against the top fighters in the division.
The problem is that along with the fighters mentioned earlier, many of the divisions top stars are already tied up with other fights.
It seems unlikely that he will be next in line for a title shot, and to be fair it’s not something that he himself has called for. Even if there were plans to line him up against the loser of the Lyoto Machida – Shogun Rua rematch, that fight isn’t scheduled until May 1st next year, and the UFC won’t want Griffin on the shelf for that long.
A rematch with Rashad Evans is currently out of the picture since Evans is set to fight Thiago Silva at UFC 108 in January, and then will have his hands full with a much anticipated rematch with fellow TUF 10 coach Quinton Rampage Jackson.
Thiago Silva could remain a possibility, particularly if he were to emerge victorious against Evans. If he lost however, this may be a fight that is unlikely to capture the fans imagination.
Could Rich Franklin Be Up Next?
One option that stands out is Rich Franklin who is expected to make the move to 205lbs after spending his last two fights at a catchweight of 195lbs. He is currently taking an extended break from the octagon after his knockout loss to Vitor Belfort, but is expected back in the spring / early summer. That would appear to fit in with
While he has lost some of his main event credibility in recent times, Franklin is still a well respected fighter, and a fight between two of the organizations most likable stars would be a marketable fight. A potential stumbling block is that, after coming off a loss, the promotion may be looking to give Franklin a more gentle introduction to the division.
Beyond that another choice could be the fast rising Jon Jones. Though he lost to Matt Hamill at the weekend due to a disqualification, his dominating performance impressed all who witnessed it, and suggests he is ready to take a step up in competition.
It has to be remembered however that Jones is still only 22, and has been fighting professionally for less than 2 years. Will the UFC be willing to risk his continued development and growing reputation by throwing him in against a former champion so soon?
Personally I think the Rich Franklin fight makes the most sense from the available options, but as always it will be interesting to see the UFC’s take on it in the new year.
Last edited by Davisty69; 12-09-2009 at 12:27 PM.
Reason: Added quoted text
didnt know lil nog was fighting already, I would guess they will hold off until Evans fights to see what happens to forrest, with rampage coming back and Dana saying Evans vs Rampage wouldnt happen if he lost. I am guessing it will be Forrest vs Rampage
I'm happy with the Rich Franklin suggestion, would be a real good fight and if Forrest could pull out a victory then it'd be back to back wins over seriously decent opposition and could get him moving back towards another run at the title. I'd love nothing more than to see Forrest as champion for a 2nd time.
I think the ufc know they are in a precarious position now all the good ole boys like hughes/franklin/liddell/couture and so on are either semi-retired or done..Given their core audience it essential to have someone like griffin "appear" credible and look like a legitimate threat in a heavily stacked division.
Zuffa learnt from the anderson match not to ever put the sport before the business again hell u just have to see how they quickly nixed any talk of anderson/gsp (or gsp moving to MW) after that fight to know that..
It really wouldnt surprise me if Forrest went on to fight the winner of coleman/couture and then a rematch with rashad after that..
To Live is 2 suffer, 2 survive? well that is 2 find meaning in the suffering