In the UFC Anderson Silva owns the middleweight division, Junior Dos Santos currently holds the heavyweight belt and Jose Aldo is the featherweight champion. Could we eventually see a UFC with eight Brazilians as title holders? I’ll examine each weight class looking at the possibility and likelihood of each.
This one is fairly obvious. Dos Santos is currently the champ and with his boxing skills could be champion for a long time. He is rumored to have outstanding jiu-jitsu and while we haven’t seen it yet if he gets past Overeem at UFC 146 both Mir and Velasquez would test it. That brings us to those likely to dethrone the champ.
Overeem is his biggest challenge at the moment. He has huge knockout power and vicious kicks and knees. We’ve also seen his jiu-jitsu ability back in his Pride days. The Dutchman could knockout or submit the champ and this is a huge fight. Velasquez and Mir both have the ground game to take out Dos Santos, but the disparity in stand up skills makes it unlikely either will be able to take it to the ground. Werdum has the ground game to take out Dos Santos and with ever improving stand up could hang on the feet also. It would be a much different fight then the first when Werdum was finished early.
This is a hard division to predict for a Brazilian to take hold of. The three big name Brazilians, Shogun, Machida and Thiago Silva, have been finished by Jon Jones or aren’t at contendership yet. It’s unlikely that Machida or Shogun will earn a rematch anytime soon, especially based on the way they lost to the champ. The most realistic chance for a Brazilian to hold this belt is for Anderson Silva to move up, but he isn’t interested in that.
Another clear title for a Brazilian. Anderson Silva owns this belt and hopefully we get to see a rematch against Sonnen in June. Sonnen will test Silva’s ground game and see if the first fight was a fluke. Even if Silva lost to Sonnen there is still Vitor Belfort waiting in the wings for another title shot and opportunity for a Brazilian to hold the belt.
This will be the toughest weight for a Brazilian to carry a belt in. The welterweight division is stacked with contenders and no Brazilian in sight. At the front are fighters like Johny Hendricks, Josh Koscheck, Carlos Condit and Jake Ellenberger with the closest Brazilian possibly being Thiago Alves who’s coming off a loss to Martin Kampmann. Erick Silva is a prospect to look out for, but he’s ways away from the title.
The Lightweight division is another division with no Brazilian near the title. Edson Barboza is the closest, but he looks like he will be taken up slowly unless he forces the UFC’s hand. He has guys like Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller, Nate Diaz, and others ahead of him so if Barboza keeps winning his earliest title shot is late 2013.
Jose Aldo holds this title and it looks like he’s going to hold onto it for a long time. Aldo is supposed to fight in Montreal later this year, but he doesn’t even have a challenger at the moment. The most likely chance for a fighter to upend Aldo is for Frankie Edgar to move down and challenge the champ. Edgar does have the boxing skills and wrestling to make it a competitive fight.
Dominick Cruz holds the title currently and will fight Urijah Faber after The Ultimate Fighter ends, but their is an explosive Brazilian making a name in the division. Renan Barao is running through competitors, he started off his UFC career by defeating Brad Pickett in the first round at UFC 138 then dominated Scott Jorgenson for three rounds. Oh, and to top it all off he’s 30-1. If he wins his next two fights he should be competing for the title against Cruz.
A relatively small division at the moment with no current champion, the flyweight division should fill in over the coming year. Currently their are no Brazilians in the division, but there are only eight fighters in it. This isn’t to say there are no good Brazilian flyweights. Jussier Da Silva is the No. 2 ranked flyweight in the world by Sherdog and has one loss on his record to UFC flyweight favorite Ian McCall. Look for Da Silva to come over soon and will likely only need one or two fights to earn a title shot.