Dana White just can’t catch a break can he? His unbeatable Light Heavyweight Champ infamously found his match in the form of a 50 foot oak tree, his long time ring girl needs a ring girl herself for her in-home fights and Vitor Belfort just broke his hand (presumably still a side-effect of Andy’s front kick) and is out against his re-match with fellow TUF coach Wanderlei Silva next month. Is this the UFC or Shakespeare?
At any rate, it appears that Joe Silva and Co are trying to come up with some other options for Wand, but they’re going to have to move quick, as the fight is scheduled for June 23rd. And to make matters worse, with a lot of the top middleweights already booked, there’s not a lot of options out there. That said, being the company guy that I am, I thought I’d help out and offer some suggestions:
Alan Belcher: Sure he just fought earlier this month, but he didn’t sustain any serious damage and he’s already gone on record that he wants to fight the “legend” that is Wanderlei Silva. I say “legend” only because it’s a way for guys to call out fading talent like Wand without saying what they’re really saying, which is, “There’s no way in hell I’d ever fight this guy in his prime, but he’s well passed that now and I want to pad my record with his name.” But I digress. Seriously though, Belcher is a nice talent, pun intended, and if in fact he is a future title contender, he’s going to need a marquee name to help introduce his name to the masses. And Wand fits that bill.
Michael Bisping: Although a long shot, this is the fight I’m pulling for. Why? Easy. Both men have gone on record saying they’d love the re-match. Plus you pair that with Bisping’s name in a fight in front of Wand’s fans in Brazil…forget about it. But as I mentioned, this won’t be easy. Bisping is already booked to fight Tim Boetsch on July 21st. The plus side however is that Bisping is likely already in decent enough shape to fight a month earlier. The bottom line though, we all know money talks. And although Boetsch is a game opponent, Wand vs. Bisping II might be too much of a gold-mine for the UFC to pass up.
Yushin Okami: Big name? Check. Available? Kind of. Okami has a fight booked in August against Luiz Cane, but based on past behavior, the UFC will have no problem pulling Okami for a bigger fight. Beatable? Hell’s yeah. Okami is the perfect foil for Wand, as he still has a relevant name, but based on styles, is a very beatable opponent for the Axe Murderer. In other words, Okami coming off back-to-back TKO’s, seems rip for the picking.
Ronaldo Souza: In a matter of full disclosure, I don’t know Souza’s contract standing with Strikeforce, but if there’s a way they can make this work, I think it’s a green light on many different accounts. Fact, “Jacare” is Brazilian, and would bring in more hometown fans. Fact, “Jacare” is still a relevant force in MMA, coming off a win and recently holding the Strikeforce Middleweight belt. Fact, “Jacare” doesn’t have a scheduled fight and hasn’t fought since March. What the hell are Joe Silva waiting for?
Did I leave anyone out? Shoot off in our comments section…if you dare. Muahahahahaha!