On Saturday in Dallas, Texas, UFC welterweight champion
Over the past 12 months, Daley (22-8-2) lost to
Immediately after UFC 103, talk immediately centered on Daley meeting Swick to determine the division's next No. 1 contender. I have a hard time buying either as legit threats to G.S.P. In four fights at 170, Swick hasn't faced a ranked opponent. Kampmann, just 2-0 in the division before running into Daley, was going to take care of that. But the main reason Swick and Kampmann were listed atop the challenger heap is the fact that neither had fought St. Pierre (19-2).
Nearly every legitimate threat to St. Pierre resides in the UFC, and most have already lost to the champ. (The only top-tier welterweight who doesn't is Shields, and the dangerous Californian recently moved up to 185 pounds, where he'll fight
It's no wonder then that welterweight, notwithstanding a deep pool of talented fighters, feels so muddled and unappealing right now.
So I'm proposing something that should but won't happen. The UFC would benefit greatly from occasionally putting together Pride Grand Prix-style tournaments to establish No. 1 contenders. And I can't think of a division more perfect for this than 170 pounds, especially with St. Pierre about to re-enter the gym after injuring his groin this summer against
Tournaments are an easy promotional tool: Just set up the brackets and let 'em go. With the names the UFC could plug into a four- or eight-man event (played out over multiple shows; none of this multi-fight in one night stuff), and with credibility that would be bestowed on the winner, it makes sense. Mix and match
Of course, considering the politics and posturing we're seeing from fighters and their camps surrounding title shots these days, the tourney format could also go a long way in alleviating headaches for the UFC. It would help determine a clear picture for fans wanting to understand how and why fighters earn their way up the ladder in the UFC. And the do-or-die aspect of single-elimination tourneys is always compelling to watch.
Belfort, 32, moved to 185 pounds last year, and immediately went to work by obliterating
"It's good to have Vitor," White said. "Anytime you can come up with new and exciting fights for him, it's great."
It's not a big leap for a guy with limited experience in the division. Belfort's a known commodity to UFC fans, a veteran of the sport and the kind of fighter who could pose risks for Silva.
Still, I'd like to see Belfort win a fight or two at 185 in the UFC before he's given a shot.
It was an evening of impressive finishes in Dallas, with standout performances from fighters throughout the card. Three stood out to me: