What a mess the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight division has become.
When reigning division champion Anderson Silva sent Chael Sonnen to the back of the line with his second round technical knockout victory in the main event of UFC 148 this past July 7, 2012, in Las Vegas, Nevada, it left the number two spot open for the taking.
It's just too bad there isn't anyone to fill the void.
That's the case at current time, at least, with no less than five to six contenders hoping to stake their claim to the coveted number one middleweight contender spot. That list includes names like Michael Bisping, Brian Stann, Hector Lombard and Tim Boetsch.
Fortunately, those four are all fighting each other. But what about guys like Alan Belcher and Chris Weidman? Well, the former is looking for a fight and has taken to using his manager to call out the latter in a recent interview with MMAWeekly.com.
"I think fans, media and everybody alike has Chris Weidman as the No. 1 contender at this point, and after he beat Mark Munoz I think everybody has him as the No. 1 guy. I'm not sure what Joe Silva is thinking, not sure what Dana (White) is thinking, but if he's the No. 1 guy, Alan Belcher would love to fight him. I don't see any other match-ups that make more sense. We've seen Vitor fight Anderson, Chael obviously just fought him, and then you've got Hector Lombard, but Hector Lombard is a guy that a lot of people don't know and haven't seen. So we're looking at it like Chris Weidman is coming off a great fight, Alan Belcher is a great fighter, so why not throw them somewhere like this Oct. 5 card, let them go five rounds and the winner gets a title shot."
Well that just seems downright logical.
Anything's possible in the wild and wacky 185-pound division, though, and UFC President Dana White is teasing a major announcement at the UFC 149 post-fight press conference once the results are in from the Lombard vs. Boetsch fight booked for the co-main event.
Our Commander-N-Chief here at Mania, Thomas Myers, thinks a middleweight tournament is in the works. His idea is to have the winner of Lombard vs. Boetsch fight Weidman while Michael Bisping vs. Brian Stann winner fights the winner of a match-up not yet made between Belcher and Vitor Belfort.
Whoever is left standing at the end gets the title shot.
For his part, Belcher is willing to accept a fight against "The Phenom" if he can't get one against Weidman.
"You've also got Vitor sitting out there looking for somebody to come to Brazil to fight him, and we're open to that as well. t's one of those situations where we want to fight, we're looking for a fight, so we need one of these guys to pick up a phone and say ‘I'll fight Alan Belcher,' but these guys continue to avoid him and I don't blame them."
Despite having the most dominant champion in MMA history at its helm, the middleweight division has never been so up in the air. It's unsteady and unpredictable but most importantly, it's fun.
Who would have thought a Sonnen loss would create this much drama?