Tonight's UFC 102 event answered alot of questions about the MW division, but I've created a solution (in my mind) which would be beneficial to the UFC, and all the deserving contenders in the division. There are 3 frontrunners that really stick out:
1) Yushin 'Thunder' Okami
Now, first off, I think alot of people are sleeping on Okami. Okami is a top 5 MW, who can't seem to catch a break with the UFC, or with his injuries. I'll be the first guy to say that Yushin should've gotten the shot against Anderson instead of Leites. However, he admittedly doesn't have the most exciting style, and doesn't really have any career defining wins (aside from the DQ over Andy, which Okami himself has said isn't a win in his book). If he beats Chael Sonnen, then his UFC record will be 9-1, with 5 of those wins being against solid comp (Belcher, Swick, J-mac, Lister, and Sonnen), and the only loss being to Franklin (in a fight where he nearly broke Rich's arm). My solution- match him up with
2) Dan Henderson
Hendo, who is also considered a top 5 MW, is a perennial contender (at 185 OR 205), and will always make it a fight. No matter who he's facing. Widely considered the only man to steal a round (inside he UFC Octagon) from divisional 500 lb. gorilla Anderson Silva, Hendo seemed to be working a smart, effective gameplan against the champ, until the 2'nd round, where Silva showcased his striking wizardry all over Dan's face, and then proceeded to choke him on the ground.
Coming off the orgasmic KO win over Bisping, and currently riding a 3 fight win streak over Paul Harris, Franklin, and Bisping, IMO Okami would be the perfect guy to match up w/ Hendo (given Yushin gets by Sonnen), and the winner would undisputably be the #1 contender to the winner of Anderson Silva vs
3) Nate 'The Great' Marquardt (gotta love my segues)
Marquardt is a certified manimal. He seemed like he was doing fairly well against Anderson in their first matchup, until he ran face first into a left hand, and then got wrussled to the ground and barraged w/ a flurry of retardedly precise strikes. IMO, Nate and Okami are probably the biggest guys in he weight class, and Nate has been very impressive recently, posting a 4-1 mark in his last 5, including exciting finishes over the likes of Jeremy Horn, Kampmann, Gouveia, and now Demian Maia; his sole loss being a disputed/ controversial SD loss to Thales Leites.
Nate is a good choice to matchup against Silva, because he's been very agressive and exciting lately (something that the UFC seems to require for someone to contest 'The Spider' and his MW crown. Hendo and Okami can duke it out for the next title shot, and if Sonnen upsets Yushin, then Dan can either do a squash match in the meantime, or can just sit in line for the next title shot.
On an unrelated side note, I find it interesting that the only 3 fights that make sense for Anderson right now are rematches (in which he's posted a 2-1 mark). Given their recent performances, any 1 of them are worthy challengers, and I wouldn't be surprised if any of them recieved the next title shot.
I'd love your feedback =D