An Outlook On The UFC Light Heavyweight Division

It looks like the UFC light heavyweight title has finally going to stay put for a while.   The UFC Light Heavyweight title has changed hands a lot recently.  Champions have emerged such as Chuck Liddell, Rampage Jackson, Forrest Griffin, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, Shogun Rua and now Jon Jones.

Jon Jones has been hyped and hyped again, but make no mistake about it the hype is real.  He may be one of the biggest emerging stars in the sport.  He destroyed Shogun Rua to capture the title and then blew through Rampage Jackson to defend his belt.  It did not take long for the UFC to set another fight for Jones.  The number one contender is Rashad Evans, however Rashad Evans is out due to an injury.  Instead, Jones will face former champion Lyoto Machida at UFC 140. 

The top of the division is a bit crowded.  It would seem that Rashad Evans would get the next title shot, but he may elect to fight rather than wait for the Jones-Machida winner.  As a result by the time Jones and Machida fight two contenders will be in wait.  First, is Rashad Evans.  Second, is the winner of the Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson fight at UFC 139. 

The one thing that could throw a wrench in the division even more would be the addition of the Strikeforce light heavyweights.  Strikeforce has 3 guys that would become immediate contenders in the UFC in Gegard Mousasi, Rafael Feijao and King Mo Lawal.  Also, guys like Roger Gracie, Ovince St. Preux, Lorenz Larkin, and Mike Kyle would add more depth to the deepest division in MMA

Top Contender: Lyoto Machida

On The Cusp of a Title Shot: Rashad Evans, Shogun vs. Henderson winner

Also in the mix: Phil Davis

Name to Watch in 2012: Alexander Gustafsson

Upcoming Light Heavyweight Fights:
Brandon Vera vs. Eliot Marshall – UFC 137 – Oct. 29
Cyrille Diabate vs. Anthony Perosh – UFC 138 – Nov. 5
Aaron Rosa vs. Matt Lucas – UFC on Fox – Nov. 12
Shogun Rua vs. Dan Henderson – UFC 139 – Nov. 19
Stephan Bonnar vs. Kyle Kingsbury – UFC 139 – Nov. 19
Ryan Bader vs. Jason Brilz – UFC 139 – Nov. 19
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida – UFC 140 – Dec. 10
Tito Ortiz vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – UFC 140 – Dec. 10
Krzystof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac – UFC 140 – Dec. 10
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko – UFC 141 – Dec. 30

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