The Future of the Middleweight Division In Question Josh Davis May 23, 2011 News In the wake of UFC 117, fight fans as well as many media people have expressed interest in an immediate rematch between middleweight champion Anderson Silva and the man that dominated him for four and a half rounds only to come up short, Chael Sonnen. It has been unofficially reported that Silva will be out until possibly March of 2011, which means an immediate rematch between the two is not a possibility. With that in mind, one must ask the question what does the UFC do with the middleweight division? There are numerous possibilities that could play out here, but the best outcome for fight fans would be to have Vitor Belfort fight Chael Sonnen for the chance to fight Silva when he returns from injury. Then you have the winner of the Nate Marquardt vs Rousimar Palhres bout at UFC Fight Night 22 take on Yushin Okami and the winner of the bout should get the a title shot after the winner of Sonnen vs Belfort. If Silva is able to defend his title in those two fights the he should move up to the light heavyweight division and make a run at that title. If this happens then the middleweight division would be wide open and it would be anybody’s game. Aside from the five fighters mentioned above, there is not anyone in the division that at this point deserves to be in the cage with Silva. If you look at the rest of the top fighters in the division there is nobody that stands out that could give Silva a run for his title. The rest of the top fighters in the division consist of Michael Bisping, Yoshihiro Akiyama, Alan Belther, Chris Leiben and Wanderli Silva and none of them at this point in their career pose any real threat to Silva’s title. They are all very talented fighters, but they are not yet ready to compete on his level. For now we will just have to wait and see exactly how long Silva will be sidelined and what Dana White, Joe Silva and the UFC decide to do with the division.