Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping, Alan Belcher and a resurgent Vitor Belfort - what do they have in common?
Answer - they’ve all been dismissed as unworthy challengers by Jorge Guimaraes, one half of the management team behind UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Weidman is currently the front-runner for a shot, having beaten two top-tier opponents in a row and riding an unbeaten five-fight win streak in the UFC. But Guimaraes is unconvinced.
“That's a big joke. Everybody saw that it worked for Chael, and he got really famous with that, and now everybody wants to be in the spotlight. No opponent makes sense for Anderson at this moment - unless we do a catchweight against Georges St. Pierre,” he told Tatame.
“They didn't offer the fight, but he's the only one that could do a super fight. Anderson has the biggest paycheck in the UFC, and you can't promote an event with these amateur kids that are coming up now.”
A super fight with GSP is something that the UFC would love to see but the French-Canadian welterweight champion has never shown any sign of being interested and it is very unlikely to happen; Anderson has likewise been uninterested in moving up in weight for a superfight with light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Weidman stated his case for a title shot via the Fighters Only website today. Anderson’s people aren’t keen on the fight at all. They say Weidman is too much of an unknown and not worthy of a shot. But Weidman says he is a “stylistic nightmare” for Anderson. Which of them is right?