The UFC has reached an era of dominance, it has developed into the biggest brand in MMA and is home to the greatest fighters from all over the world. The champions at time seem completely unbeatable leaving us fans wondering “Who the [explicit] is going to beat him!” We find ourselves drooling over the mere thought or possibility of dream match ups like GSP vs Anderson Silva or Anderson Silva vs Jon Jones because for some reason we as fans do not want to see people dominate and clean out a whole division what we really want is to see the seemingly undefeatable get defeated. We ask Who is going to beat GSP? Who is going to beat AS? Who is going to beat Jon Jones? Although those three fighters rule over their Division with an Iron Fist the same can be said for the other UFC Champions. Dominic Cruz has a strangle hold on the Bantam Weight Division, Jose Aldo is ranked in the top 5 P4P champion in MMA and Frankie Edgar is proving to overcome adversity every single time he fights. The only division in the UFC up in the air is the Heavyweight division where JDS just snagged the belt from Cain Velasquez on the UFC on Fox 1 event but even being the newest champion one can argue that he is going to dominate his division for a long time as well.
The average time as champion for all champions in the UFC/WEC(Aldo & Cruz) is roughly 2 years and 2 months, the 7 UFC Champions racked up a total 29 title defenses and hold a combined record of 135-10-1. Only two challengers were able to become champions in 2011 and now one of them quickly rising to become No 1 P4P Champion and that is Jon Jones by defeating Shogun Rua in March, the other one of coarse is JDS who recently defeated Cain Velasquez. All of these figures lead to the question I raised earlier and we are now all wondering “Who is going to beat these guys”? It seems unlikely now that any one of them will be defeated any time soon but if we cannot put our finger on someone who is at least the most likely to be dethroned next?
This is purely opinion based so my opinion might differ from yours, but I’m gonna do might best to weigh which UFC Champion is most likely to lose next. Please keep that in mind while reading this blog post.
Bantam Weight Champion Dominick Cruz
Cruz has quickly risen to the most dominant Bantamweight Champion in the UFC. His Championship reign has spanned from becoming the WEC Champion to defeating Urijah Faber to unify the UFC Bantamweight Championship. With the UFC opening up a new division for 125 pound fighters many Bantamweights are looking to drop down in competition taking a lot of depth away from the Bantamweight Division and less competition for the Champion. Next up for Cruz is the rubber match with Urijah Faber. Faber earned his rematch by defeating Brian Bowles at UFC 139, Faber believes he is the better fighter of the two and will be looking to defeat Dominic Cruz and become the next Bantamweight Champion. Faber is truly Cruz’s toughest challenger in my opinion, nobody else in the division matches up to Cruz’s speed and wrestling like Faber does. When the two clash for the third time it is very likely that a new champion will be named in the Bantamweight Division but I’m not sure if he is the MOST likely to lose his belt first.
Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo
Aldo has fought his way to the top 5 pound for pound fighters in the world. Like the Bantamweight Champion Dominic Cruz, Aldo’s reign started in the WEC. His skill set has yet to be matched by any Featherweight Challenger and is not showing any signs of slowing down. Aldo is coming off a win against Kenny Florian who some people thought had the best chance and the most skill to defeat the Featherweight Champion, next in line is Chad Mendes who has been tearing through the Featherweight division in route to his first Championship bout. Although Jose Aldo is the next champion to defend his title when he fights Chad Mendes at UFC 142 but I’m highly doubtful that Mendes would be the one to defeat Jose Aldo. However maybe there is someone who is champion of another division that could do the job. As for current Featherweights I think Aldo has made it very clear that he is the King of the division. At least for now.
Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar
Edgar is ranked somewhere in the top 5 pound for pound champions, his win against Gray Maynard had him ranked number 2 behind Silva according to Dana White. However that may have changed since Dana White put Jon Jones number 2 after he won against Lyoto Machida, so that makes him 3? or 4? anyways he’s somewhere in the top 5. But what puts him so high in the P4P list is that he’s clearly the smaller fighter every time he fights and yet he’s still the Champion. Frankie Edgar continues to fight through adversity coming out on top each time. Next up for Edgar is Benson Henderson a big strong Lightweight that has been dominating his last 3 fights making him the Number 1 Contender. This is going to be a really tough fight for Edgar against a very well rounded much bigger challenger. Edgar will be next after Aldo to defend his Championship and looking forward to UFC 144 in Japan I honestly can’t give this fight to anyone yet I can see Edgar winning if he doesn’t get hurt early but that’s a big if when fighting Benson Henderson who is a savage.
Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre
Unfortunately GSP is out for the next 9-12 months so with that I think he is the least likely to lose his championship first. If you don’t defend your championship you can’t lose it. Even though he has the winner of the Interim Championship fight between Nick Diaz and Carlos Condit waiting for their shot at him they still have to wait for GSP to recover from his Knee Injury.
Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva
The longest reigning champion in history Anderson Silva is recovering from shoulder surgery but while he recovers Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz will battle it out for the Number 1 Contender spot and will be next to fight Silva. Anderson Silva is the greatest Champion the UFC has ever had, he has defended his belt 9 times and has easily won all but 1 title defense that being when he squeaked out a triangle choke on Chael Sonnen. He is hands down the most skilled fighter in the UFC and proves his dominance every single time. His next opponent will be decided on UFC on Fox 2 but whether it be Sonnen or Munoz I’m not sure if either of those will be able to defeat Silva. Sonnen came close before but he first has to get through Munoz.
Lightheavyweight Champion Jon Jones
Jon Jones has been on a UFC run of epic proportions, he has dismantled every opponent that has been unlucky enough to get locked in the cage with him. He has beaten 3 top 10 fighters in his last 3 fights and has come out unscathed each time. Honestly I do not like Jon Jones but there is no doubting this kids abilities the way he is defeating all of the best guys in his division its almost scary. However there are a few guys out there who might give him a good fight or maybe beat him, Dan Henderson being one and Rashad Evans being another. Following his UFC 140 Title Defense there is still no new challenger for Jon Jones.
Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos
He made his title run count as he defeated Cain Velasquez in front of a national audience on UFC on Fox 1 with a Knock Out in the first round. Junior Dos Santos is a boxing specialist that has been unstoppable on his rise to the Heavyweight Throne. Next in line for JDS is either Brock Lesnar or Alistair Overeem and that will be decided at UFC 141 right before this years end. If Lesnar wins I’m willing to say he has no chance to beat JDS however if Overeem wins he has a better chance since it’ll turn into a stand up match where Overeem is one of the best Kick boxers in the world. However JDS is also recovering from surgery so there is no set date yet as to when JDS will defend his Belt for the first time.
So there you have it, my take on the current Champions and their next challengers. Now that I’ve laid out a brief background on each Champion, I’m ready to give you my pick on which one of the UFC Champions is most likely to lose next. After putting great thought into this, I’m still reluctant but my unbiased pick is sadly Frankie Edgar.
Here’s why I chose Frankie Edgar, First of all chronologically he is second behind Jose Aldo to defend his Championship. Lets be honest I think its gonna take a miracle for Chad Mendes to beat Jose Aldo even if you gave Mendes a baseball bat. So with that said, Edgar is next to defend when he fights Benson Henderson at UFC 144 and its going to be Edgar’s toughest challenger yet. I’m not saying that Frankie Edgar couldn’t beat Benson Henderson I’m just saying that for being one of the first Champions to defend and the biggest challenge to overcome I’m putting him at most likely to lose first. There is good news though, lets just say hypothetically that Edgar does lose. A lot of people including myself say that Edgar would do much better in the Featherweight division we’re he would fight guys his own size. I do think that he could beat Jose Aldo and he could reign in the Featherweight Division for longer than the Lightweight Division.
Remember at the beginning of this blog post I said that this was my opinion? Well now I want to hear yours! In your eyes what UFC Champion do you think is most likely to lose?