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It’s not yet clear how this whole Chael Sonnen/PED situation will play out, but that doesn’t mean I can’t speculate on how it will affect Joe Silva’s week.

If Sonnen is cleared of the violations, which is unlikely, I would argue that the foreseeable future of the middleweight division is pretty straight forward. Anderson Silva and Sonnen rematch for the belt with the winner fighting the Yushin Okami v. Vitor Belfort winner. As for the other contenders, Chris Leben welcomes Wanderlei Silva back to the Octagon and Nate Marquardt waits for the winner of Michael Bisping v. Yoshihiro Akiyama. While all of this is going on, Demian Maia buys a freezer to keep Kendall Grove’s severed arm in and Gerald Harris hazes another UFC freshman.

But if Sonnen is suspended and publicly flogged, things get a little messy, just like the night I was conceived.

The Okami v. Belfort winner could theoretically make a quick turnaround and fight Silva in January, but that isn’t the best situation. For one thing, it means a shortened training camp for a fighter entering into a championship bout and that just isn’t fair. For another, either Okami or Belfort could get injured in their bout, leaving nobody to fight Silva.

Another idea would be to simply book one of the currently unbooked contenders against Silva. This would mean sticking Marquadt, Wanderlei, or Leben directly into a championship bout. Marquardt and Wanderlei are both only on one fight win streaks, which doesn’t scream “title shot.” Each man needs at least one more big win before vying for the championship. And as for Leben, his current win streak, while incredibly impressive, isn’t exactly worthy of an immediate crack at the belt either. Plus, the starching he received at the hands of Silva back in 2006 is still in the back of everybody’s head.

The solution? Pull Belfort from his fight with Okami and put him against Silva for the belt. Some are still arguing that Belfort doesn’t deserve it because he’s only had one fight in his current UFC run and that wasn’t even at 185, but who cares? The UFC has tried to book that fight two or three times already and, let’s face it, Belfort is the most appealing match-up for Silva right now, aside from Sonnen. With the championship bout out of the way, Marquardt gets Belfort’s slot against Okami, which makes sense from a matchmaking perspective and from the fact that Marquardt just had a big win on Spike, which would theoretically help drive interest in the Spike-televised Okami fight. Leben and Wand still fight each other and the rest of the division can sort itself out.

Somebody put Joe Silva on notice. It’s only a matter of time before he gets pulled over with a trunk full of dead Thai prostitutes and the UFC needs a replacement matchmaker.

UPDATE: The CSAC says a Silva v. Sonnen rematch is unlikely unless Sonnen appeals before the end of the year. Looks like the UFC is going to have to either take my advice or push off Silva’s next title defense a bit to accomodate the Okami v. Belfort winner.

  • glassjawsh says:

    dumb, just leave everything as is and move the championship fight to februrary

  • Márcio says:

    Not a bad idea but I would give Marquardt the shot ahead of Belfort and/or Okami.

  • Reverend Clint says:

    Shawn what does 3 Filipino trannies and Wilford Brimley have to do with the MW situation? Oh wait you didnt mean it was literally like the night you were concieved.

  • mmariusp says:

    I actually agree 100%…

  • Symbul says:

    I think Vitor needs the Okami fight for legitimacy. They could pull the Okami fight but Vitor’s been out for a year since the 195 Franklin win now and that wasn’t particularly solid ground for a middleweight title bid to begin with.

    I could see Marquardt getting in there but I don’t see any great options here unless the Roid Warrior gets a short enough suspension to still make a rematch happen in time.

  • FiveBoltMain says:

    Vitor vs Okami is in the middle of November. Silva isn’t rumored to fight until SB weekend, which is the first weekend of February. The winner of Vitor/Okami would have 2.5 months to train for Silva. That seems like a reasonable amount of time if the winner come out unscathed.

    If that fails, then you book Lesnar vs Dos Santos on SB weekend and book Silva the following month(s).

  • Jim Harbaugh Scramble says:

    Everything will work out fine if Vitor/Okami winner leaves the fight without injury. Winner could rest a month and then have a 6 week training camp before fighting Silva in February. If the winner is dinged up then it gets hard to sort out.
    I don’t think Marqaudt should get the shot on a one fight win streak, but he might get it by default if Vitor/Okami winner can’t go in February. Luckily, there is no BJJ guy the UFC can throw into a title shot.

  • shawn says:

    That’s my problem with slating the Okami/Belfort winner for a February fight: the risk that he might not be physically ready or licensed to fight by Super Bowl weekend.

    I probably should have elaborated more on this in the actual blog post, but he big reason here is that the UFC’s Superbowl weekend card is typically one of the three biggest of the year, alongside the year end show and the big summer show, and such a card needs sufficient hype, marketing, advertising — whatever you want to call it. Waiting until November 13th to see who gets the fight and then waiting further to see if that person is even healthy for a February 5th fight is not good business. This is especially relevant since we’re dealing with Belfort, who is not someone you can historically rely on in terms of staying healthy.

    If the UFC wants Silva to fight on Super Bowl weekend, it’s not a good idea to put it all on the outcome of Okami/Belfort. If the UFC is willing to push off Silva’s next defense, then there’s no problem.

    But I doubt they’re going to want to do that, in which case replacing Belfort with Marquardt and slotting Belfort against Silva makes sense.

  • fishead says:

    if Sonnen’s test result is legit, then I say they give Marquardt the title shot. Nate’s only relevant since his last shot at the title was his fight against Sonnen – who, pending the CSAC ruling, could be thrown to the wolves and labeled as a known juicer. If Marquardt was one fight away from a title shot when he fought Sonnen, then maybe he should get that shot now that Sonnen has turned up positive in a post-fight test.

    Also… I think it could be an interesting fight if Marquardt comes out with the right gameplan… certainly more interesting than the Silva/Sonnen rematch that was being discussed… because the only conceivable change to Sonnen’s gameplan would be to pay more attention to submission defense.

  • YEAH RIGHT says:

    Write here more! Always love your shit.

    Marquardt vs Belfort would be fucking sick. Just saying.

  • Schrute Boxe says:

    I didn’t think Sonnen should’ve gotten that rematch in the first place, so Belfort/Okami winner doesn’t sound too bad at all.

  • godzillad says:

    Shawn – Get an AV, slob.

    (Scissors will appreciate that.)

  • Omomatta says:

    If his test result is legit. Sonnen’s out.

    He took them…the CSAC knew about it pre-fight. What I think is fucked up is that they let the fucking fight happen after he clearly admitted that he was taking PEDs. What the fuck is that about? Well, I guess I’m speculating that it was pre-fight…but I don’t see any proof that it wasn’t.

  • JoeRoganIsAnnoying says:

    Wow, 1st time in 3 years Omo and I agree! If it is true that they knew he was on PED’s and let the fight go on, that’s riduclous on so many levels! Though we disagree regularly in this forum, I believe we all commonly detest the Sean Sherk-esk style lay & pray/PED strategy, which damn near ruined the LW division several years ago. Our sport is about skill, discipline, technique, elite athleticism, and above all else the respect that comes with calling oneself a Mixed Martial Artist. Chael, if you took steroids and walked into the cage that night, you are a criminal! I’ve sat idely by in this and other forums and listened to the Anderson Bashing, but I’m more happier now knowing what Anderson was up against; what he overcame, and still finished that fucker!

  • Omomatta says:

    There’s no doubt he’s a stud.

  • DaddyPants says:

    how funny is it gonna be if Sonnen’s testosterone levels were up because of his prescription backne cream or some kind penis enlarging pills? it obviously wasn’t something that would make your balls shrink, the man had to have huge brass ones to talk all that shit to Anderson Silva like he did.

  • frickshun says:

    Good write-up as usual….

  • shawn says:

    thanks pal