With Quinton Jackson set to defend his title against Forrest Griffin in July of 2008 it leaves the rest of the Light Heavyweight division battling each other for the title shot opportunity after Forrest Griffin. With so many top notch fighters in the division who could be in line, what better way to settle it than with an 8-man Tournament? Starting with the UFC 82 ppv in March the UFC could easily get this done!
Here are the 8 men who deserve to be in the tournament in my opinion:
Wanderlei Silva, Lyoto Machida, Shogun, Keith Jardine, Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Thiago Silva and Rameu Thierry Sokoudjuo (excuse spelling on that one).
Depending what happens in the December 29th UFC 79 ppv with the two big Light Heavyweight fights, the seedings will be determined then.
Right now, here are my seedings (and corresponding match-ups) assuming that Wanderlei beats Liddell and Machida beats Soko:
#1 Lyoto Machida vs. #8 Chuck Liddell (UFC 83 in April)
#2 Wanderlei Silva vs. #7 Rashad Evans (UFC 84)
#3 Shogun vs. #6 Thiago Silva (UFC 83 note: Shogun has already said he’s fighting on this card)
#4 Keith Jardine vs. #5 Soko (UFC 83 or 84, depending on room on card)
Some of the seedings are, of course, debatable. But, I think overall, these eight deserve it more than anyone else and the match-ups that I have created here are all very intriguing in my opinion. In parenthesis obviously are my thoughts on when the fight could take place for each match up. So with that here are the possible second round match-ups and when they would take place, again I’m using my predictions here:
#1 Machida vs. #5 Soko (re-match of 79 fight but IF it works out this way then it works out this way…June card)
#2 Wanderlei vs. #3 Shogun (June card)
Now, hopefully we could get the championship match-up turned around real quick on a late July card otherwise Rampage/Griffin winner would have to wait longer to face the winner which wouldn’t be good in my mind.
so perhaps #5 Soko vs. #2 Wanderlei and we end up with a Rampage/Wanderlei match-up for mid September/early October.
What do you think? let me know