When UFC middleweight Vitor Belfort was pulled from an October 13 pairing with Alan Belcher as a means of serving as 205-pound champion Jon Jones’ next opponent it left “The Talent” looking for a new in-ring adversary. Though Belcher will be unable to compete at UFC 153 due to injury, the 28-year old Roufusport staple is under the impression he’ll be 100% by November 17 when the Octagon heads to Montreal for UFC 154.
Rarely are there situations when the cancellation of a clash results in a good thing but in the case of Belcher-Belfort being scratched it may actually turn out to be a positive rather than a negative. Belfort has only strung together two wins since being knocked out by divisional king Anderson Silva, while Belcher (as well as a few of his 185-pound peers) has put together a much nicer run in recent history.
It seems there are three logical options to explore when it comes to booking Belcher’s next bout. They are:
“The Barbarian” is 4-0 since dropping down to middleweight including wins over Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard. He’s viewed as being on the cusp of contendership, as is Belcher, and would offer an interesting stylistic match-up considering his well-rounded approach to taking opponents out.
While Lombard may have fallen by Split Decision to Boetsch in his UFC debut, the explosive former Bellator champion could have easily won the bout and suffered from an uncharacteristically tame attack from his adversary making it difficult to get any offense off. Regardless, he’s still 33-3-1 overall and had won 20+ in a row before barely being beaten by Boestch.
The undefeated Weidman makes the most sense out of the entire roster since he’s viewed as being 1A in the line for a shot at Silva to Belcher’s 1B. Weidman needs another big win to convince Silva he’s a legit challenger, as does Belcher, so the fight makes too much sense not to book.
Honorable Mention: Brian Stann/Michael Bisping would be worthy of the honor if one beats the other in dominant fashion at UFC 152 and is healthy enough to fight again less than two months later.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC