Q: Predict who will be the Middleweight Champion one year from now and play out how we get there.
NOTE: We sat on these answers on this topic from our team for a couple weeks at the wrong time, as a lot has changed since the answers were submitted. With that preamble, letting you know these answers were sent in before Michael Bisping vs. GSP was booked and, of course, before this week’s breaking news of Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum, among other developments, here is a snapshot of where we thought the Middleweight Division would be a year from now.
ADAM TINDAL, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
This time next year I believe Robert Whittaker will be Middleweight Champ. I see Yoel Romero beating Michael Bisping and potentially failing the post-fight drug test resulting in a vacated title. Whittaker will step up into a four-man elimination tournament and beat both Gegard Mousasi and Jacare Souza to claim the belt. I believe his youth coupled with his athleticism and aggression will too much for any man to handle. His offensive and defensive boxing is very slick as is his takedown defense. I’ve been very impressed with him since his move to MW.
BRANDON SLOAN, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think a year from now the UFC Middleweight Champion will be Gegard Mousasi. And once he becomes champion, I think he stays champion for a long time. Right now the Middleweight Division is stacked at the top. We have Jacare and Yoel Romero certainly next in line for a title shot. But with GSP and Anderson Silva campaigning for the shot, it might be one of them that takes it.
I predict that over the next few months the division will get shaken up. Jacare, Yoel Romero, GSP, and Luke Rockhold will all challenge for the title, but after they all test each other I think the man that will come in the picture late 2017 will ultimately be the guy nobody can beat. Gegard Mousasi, out of all the top contenders, has the best overall game. He has over 40 pro fights and stays ready to fight anybody anytime. Unlike the current contenders, he isn’t complaining about who they put in front of him. Look for the top of the division to get cleared up and, while that’s happening, Mousasi will be on a five fight win streak. Then, around December, he will take what is his and become the Middleweight Champion.
From then on we will see a champion who doesn’t complain about his challengers. Doesn’t seek money fights, but seeks the greater challenge. And we also see a champion who is one of the people. A man who doesn’t buy flashy cars and houses, but a man who rebuilds the community of his hometown and is set on being known as one of the best. I think a year from now Gegard Mousasi will be the champion of the Middleweight Division and two years from now he will still be on top as the undisputed 185 pound champ.
CHRISTOPHER KING, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Ahh, the Middleweight Division, what a mess. Is it too easy to say anyone but Bisping? While an honest, game, and tough fighter I still cannot get my head around Bisping being the best in the world. Especially in a division with so many killers. It is looking like Yoel Romero will be his next title defese and I would imagine he will lose that pretty quickly. From there, Romero looses his rematch against Souza and that is probably about as far as we get in a year. Although if it stays as crazy as recently, Anderson Silva will be my wildcard pick.
MICHAEL GROCKE, MMATORCH CONTRIBUTOR
I think it comes down to three fighters: Michael Bisping, George St. Pierre, and Yoel Romero. I have no idea what to expect from GSP when he returns to fight Bisping some time in the Fall. Bisping isn’t even the best fighter in his division, yet he holds the title. He’s only defended the title once since he won it back in June of 2016, and it wasn’t even against a Top 10 Middleweight. He’s managed to avoid fighting the best in the division and, who knows, maybe he’ll retire before he’s forced to.
Although it pains me to say, I’ll go with Bisping over GSP in the fall. If Bisping is true to his word and gives Romero the next shot, Romero will be the Middleweight Champion next year. The worst thing for Romero is for GSP to beat Bisping for the title because I don’t see the UFC giving him the first shot at the new champion.
NOW CHECK OUT PART ONE ON THIS TOPIC: ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1): Predict who will be the Middleweight Champion one year from now and play out how we get there