UFC 12-Man MW Tournament

We all know that Anderson Silva is the most dominate MW in the world.  Has set the UFC record for longest winning  streak (10), tied for the most consecutive title defenses (5), and has remained unbeaten for over 4 years.  Due to his overwhelming dominance, Silva currently resides at or near the top of every MMA Pound 4 Pound ranking.  But what if A.S. were to suddenly vanish?  The UFC MW landscape would change dramatically.  With that in mind, who would rule the UFC's MW division in a world without the Spider?  Time find out, Tournament style...

Below is an 12-Man (Top 4 seeds receive a 1st round bye) single elimination bracket to determine which MW would rule the division.  Utilizing numerous independent rankings, and taking fighting styles into consideration, I have provided the following tournament seeds (Vitor is #3 because he has yet to actually have a MW fight in the UFC):


                                                            QF1      1 C. Sonnen

Match #1:    8 Yoshihiro Akiyama                     Winner of 8/9

                   9 Patrick Cote

                                                            QF2      4 D. Maia                                                                           

Match #2:   5 Wanderlei Silva                          Winner of 5/12

                12 Chris Leben

                                                            QF3      3 V. Belfort

Match #3:    6 Yushin Okami                            Winner of 6/11

                 11 Dan Miller

                                                            QF4      2  N. Marquardt

Match #4:    7 Michael Bisping                         Winner of 7/10

                 10 Alan Belcher


We will poll each fight individually, for 1 day, beginning with opening round Match #1.  MMA Mania has the most knowledgeable MMA online community, so please feel free to post your pick in the comments along with your analysis of how you see the fights breaking down.  Hopefully this will give us something to do on slow news days.

The opening fight of the tournament features 2 polar opposite warriors.  Yoshihiro Akiyama is an ultra talented and durable wrestler, with serviceable hands, an underrated submissions game, and a flair for the dramatic.  He faces Patrick Cote.  The French Canadian has extremely heavy hand, improved TD defense, and perhaps the best chin in the division.  The key to this fight may be Cote's conditioning following a long lay off due to injury.

So lets hear it Maniacs.  Who would rule the day, in a world without Anderson Silva?  Will the favorites move on, or will we see an underdog rise to the top?  You decide.

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