Currently, we are witnessing the best, most competitive middleweight division in UFC history. Never has the quality at the top been so high - it seems highly unlikely that another Anderson Silva will emerge to dominate the 185-pound class for years on end. That makes for plenty of intriguing matchups in the coming years.
With middleweights, you have guys that walk around at 200+ pound cutting down to 185. Make no mistake: these are big men who are also elite athletes. The division is filled with Olympic athletes, world champions in jiu-jitsu, champion collegiate wrestlers and other decorated individuals. Let’s take a look at the current division. Remember, you can bet on your favorite fighters with the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu.
Weight Limit: 185 pounds
Average Height: 73” (6’2”)
Average Reach: 75.2” (6’3.2”)
Current UFC Rankings (As of June 1, 2017)
Champion: Michael Bisping
1. Yoel Romero
2. Luke Rockhold
3. Robert Whittaker
4. Gegard Mousasi
5. Jacare Souza
6. Chris Weidman
7. Kelvin Gastelum
8. Anderson Silva
9. Derek Brunson
10. Krzysztof Jotko
11. David Branch
12. Vitor Belfort
13. Thales Leite
14. Uriah Hall
15. Sam Alvey
The UFC could have another interim champion soon. With Michael Bisping on the shelf due to a knee injury - and his matchup with Georges St. Pierre on hold - Dana White recently announced that an interim title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker is in the works for UFC 213. After months of holdup in what is currently the most competitive division in the UFC, it’s good to see the wheels turning again - even if it means another interim strap.
MMA Odds and Ends
Former champion Chris Weidman will meet rising prospect Kelvin Gastelum in the main event of UFC on FOX 25 on July 22. Currently, the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu have Gastelum as a slight -135 favorite, with Weidman at +115. A fourth straight loss for Weidman could effectively kill his standing as a top 185-pounder, while the young Gastelum could take his place as a legitimate title threat.
Fighters to Watch
Best Grappler: Ronaldo Souza. Only a handful men on the planet is as accomplished as “Jacare” in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He is a five-time world champion in the sport, with three gold medals in the open weight class. Along with Roger Gracie and Marcelo Garcia, Souza is considered one of the greatest BJJ practitioners of all time. That has led to 16 submissions in 23 pro MMA victories.
Best Prospects: Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker. Though Gastelum insists he’s a welterweight, he’s already 2-0 at 185 pounds. Just 25 years old, he is a wrestler-boxer with devastating hands and a significant win over Tim Kennedy. Robert Whittaker is a year older at 26, but he has yet to lose since moving up to middleweight. A spectacular athlete, Whittaker already has a brilliant boxing skill set and great take down defense.
The GreatsHands down, Anderson Silva is the greatest middleweight in UFC history. A champion for seven years, his reign was as violent as it was awe-inspiring. It’s possible that we’ll never see somebody like him again.
We need to give a special shout out to Michael Bisping, who had a fairytale 2016 which saw him win the UFC middleweight championship. After 10 long years of never being good enough to even earn a title shot, fortuitous events and the year’s biggest upset led to a lifetime achievement.
The Future of MiddleweightThe post Anderson Silva era is a compelling one. It seems as if anyone in the top four could beat each other on any given day. With great talent at the top and a few intriguing young talents rising quickly, the middleweight division looks well positioned for the next few years.
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