After tonight's middleweight stinker, I decided to put together my analysis of the 185 lbs. title picture. Just a note, the latest available rankings are clearly dated, so I added in parenthesis my personal rankings. Also, I adjusted the numbers to not include non-UFC fighters. Here we go.
I'm assuming that Bisping will beat Brian Stann at UFC 152, a farily safe prediction, I think. Even then, I don't think Bisping is the most deserving contender, but this is the money fight. DFW has been itching for this fight for years. This will be held in the UK, with thousands of rabid Brits screaming Bisping's name for all 12 minutes. That's how long Bisping will be awake.
Chris Weidman is the most deserving contender, but he has one major problem: exposure. Other than hardcores, nobody knows who he is. Before tonight, Tim Boetsch was considered a whirlwind of raw violence. Unfortunately, despite picking up the W, his stock has fallen a bit. The solution, a high profile main event that gives Weidman publicity and Boetsch a chance to redeem his image, as well as finding the next title challenger.
Sonnen won't get another shot as long as Silva is champion. However, he's approaching 40 and won't be around forever, so Sonnen is still relevant. This matchup follows the trend of matching losers against losers, and provides both men a chance to remain near the top.
Hopefully, Belfort won't be wasted on the corpse of Wanderlei Silva. I understand it's an exciting fight to make, but Vitor is relevant to the title picture, and that's more important. Belcher is ready for a step up in competition after winning four in a row (all by stoppage) and six out of seven.
Brian Stann 9(7) vs. ???
Assuming he loses to Bisping, there really isn't a compelling matchup for him. I suspect they'll give him a sacrificial lamb, especially considering his value to the company due to his story and marketability.
(Dis)honorable mention: Yushim Okami and Hector Lombard should drop out of the top 20.