The UFC continues to progress every year and 2010 was no exception. A new champion in three weight classes, the announcement of the WEC merging into the UFC, and the biggest free agent signing of the year with Jake Shields. However, we all know Dana White isn’t done with progressing the organization.
With the merger, the UFC is adding three new weight class divisions starting in 2011. These weight classes contain some of the best lighter weight fighters in the world including Dominick Cruz, Jose Aldo, Anthony Pettis, Ben Henderson, and Urijah Faber, who all held a WEC belt at one time or another. Lighter weight fighters tend to be more exciting and bringing more excitement to the UFC is something Dana is not against.
“It’s fun, it’s going to be crazy, but that’s what makes for such great fights. It’s a fun division, I’m actually really excited about it,” said Dana White on the lightweight division merger, “There’s a lot of guys coming up that are really talented. I think the pool’s just going to keep getting bigger, bigger, and bigger. It’s a dog eat dog world. There’s so many good guys out there. You’re literally fighting for your UFC life every time you fight.”
And what is the answer to having more fighters? More fights. On top of the seven pay-per-view events that have been announced, the UFC will be broadcasting four events live on either Spike TV or Versus before June. Free fights are an easy way to get more people interested in the UFC, and if the fighters put on a show, fans are going to be hooked. However, everyone knows that not every fight is going to be a classic brawl you will remember. So with the lighter weight classes will the fights be more exciting? We can only hope.
On another note, Anderson Silva will be defending his belt in 2011. Everyone who watches MMA is thinking the same think I am, will Silva actually fight or is he going to mock Belfort like he has done to his other opponents? I believe he’s going to come out in UFC 126 looking to fight. Chael Sonnen put up a hell of a fight against Silva, and although I am a fan of Silva, I was happy someone finally stepped up and punched him in the face. I just can’t see how Silva doesn’t have a change of heart after the Sonnen fight.
Last but not least, Georges St. Pierre will finally have someone challenge him for the welterweight belt with former Strikeforce Middleweight Champion Jake Shields requesting a fight by the end of the year. Although Shields did not look 100% against Martin Kampmann, I believe he will rebound very well. This is not the first time Shields has made the transition from weight class to weight class. He has held belts in both welterweight and middleweight divisions in different organizations. Right now, I don’t believe any fighter in the welterweight division can wrestle St. Pierre, except Shields. I think this will be one of the greatest fights of UFC history and I personally can’t wait to watch it.
It looks like the UFC has a lot on it’s plate for 2011, and let’s all hope it will be as exciting as it looks on paper.