Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White and his mixed martial arts (MMA) crew have many more of them to make in the wake of UFC 152: "Jones vs. Belfort," which took place last night (Sept. 22, 2012) from the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Finding the next contender for UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones might be difficult after "Bones" dispatched of Vitor Belfort with a submission in round four. "The Phenom" was promoted from the Middleweight ranks when 205-pound contenders Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua passed on the opportunity to fight Jones when Dan Henderson went down with an injury.
Henderson, Machida and Rua are all now back in the dreaded "mix;" in fact, "Hendo" and the "Dragon" are reportedly set to duke it out later this year, meaning that Jones could be on the shelf until early 2012 as the division sorts itself out.
Finding the next contender for UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva should be a little easier; however, a potential "super fight" with Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre has clouded the 185-pound title picture and the fight future of "The Spider."
Michael Bisping inched closer to a bout with the Brazilian thanks to his unanimous decision win over Brian Stann at UFC 152. "The Count" has always been knocking on the door, but has often been the victim of circumstance and/or thundering right hands, stymying his title aspirations.
That might still be the case if White follows through with a 180-pound catchweight fight between his two champions at Cowboys Stadium. Of course, St. Pierre has to defeat Carlos Condit at UFC 154 later this year to make it happen, but even if he's unsuccessful, Silva has expressed his interest in challenging "Rush" regardless.
Having said all of that, Silva -- who has a "fun," (or "fishy," depending on who you talk to) three-round fight with Stephan Bonnar on tap for next month at UFC 153 -- has also gone on record in the past as interested in a fight with Bisping. And he'd even be interested in fighting Bisping in hostile territory in his native England.
With ticket sales struggling thanks in large part to fighter injuries and event over-saturation, booking Silva vs. Bisping might not be as far-fetched as most hardcore combat sports fans would like to believe.
"It was a great fight, me and Joe Silva were talking earlier tonight and I said that Bisping versus Silva is an interesting fight," White said at the UFC 152 post-fight press conference. "Bisping gets booed, but he always brings it, he always fights hard."
Sure, a true number one contender eliminator match against Chris Weidman makes the most sense. Silva has more or less expressed his complete disinterest in a bout with "All American" any time soon. White even mentioned that Weidman would have to wait until 2013 to fight Silva, so he accepted a match against Tim Boetsch in two months to keep busy.
That leaves Bisping in a pretty good spot for once: He's fresh off a win, Silva isn't too tied up and the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion needs a shot in its promotional arm to get off to a good start in 2013 to avoid a disappointing year like 2012.
London might not be a bad idea.
"I'm running around this question [Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping] like a motherfucker," White said. "This division is so stacked. There's a line of guys [vying] for this title shot. What's next for Bisping? I don't know what's next."