The current group of UFC champions could very well prove to be the most dominant group of champions in the*association's*short history. And though it is likely that all of the current champions will be around for quite some,*anything can happen in this sport.
BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida are all skilled MMA tacticians with few if any holes in their game.
Then there is the freak of nature, Brock Lesnar.
Lesnar, while very green, has the wrestling base, dedication, work ethic and physical gifts to dominate the heavyweight division.
All of them, simply put, are*scary good. Each is a representation of the evolution within our young sport.
And though these fighters*are great, nothing can last forever.*
So let's take a journey into the future. Who will be the next fighters to wear the UFC gold?
There is just something about Joe Lauzon that makes me think he is going to be the next*lightweight champion a year or so down the road.
Lauzon is very young and very talented. And while he*trains some*with Penn,*has no qualms about fighting him.
I think that his training with Penn is going to be what ultimately leads him to be victorious against the Prodigy.
Lauzon is an intelligent fighter and understands the mental part of the fight game. When you train with someone, you get a peek into their mentality.
Lauzon could use his insights into Penn?s training habits to his advantage.
Anthony ?Rumble? Johnson is going to be something special in this sport.
His raw talent alone is enough to make me think he will be a champion.*
His dedication to the sport leads me to believe that it is going to happen sooner rather than later.
Johnson is every bit the athlete that St. Pierre, only with more explosiveness. Johnson has the ability to end a fight in the blink of an eye.
I can already envision the rivalry that*St.*Pierre*and Johnson*will establish in the*welterweight division. Both are young and talented;*St. Pierre*is just further along in his development.
Nate ?The Great? Marquardt will beat Anderson Silva before he leaves UFC. Mark my words; Marquardt will be the one to dethrone the current*pound-for-pound*king.
Marquardt is a terrific fighter with the toolbox to give anyone fits. He is an accomplished striker, a solid wrestler and has a good submission game.
Part of the reason I see Marquardt beating Silva is the fact that he has been in there with the Spider before. He has an understanding of what to expect and should be able to make the necessary changes in his preparations to correct his prior shortcomings.
Light Heavyweight?Ryan Bader
This is the biggest reach of the entire list, but I just like what Ryan Bader brings to the table. His wrestling base is tremendous and he has good power.
With some time and an elevation in competition, Bader could be ready for a title shot in a couple of years and it is easy to believe Machida could hold onto the belt for that long.
I have always been a fan*of fighters with a wrestling base. I love the work ethic and tenacity that they bring into the cage.
Bader is a wrestler, through and through.
Heavyweight?Junior Dos Santos
There are many reasons to like Junior Dos Santos, but my favorite is his punching power, primarily his uppercut. Dos Santos has the power in his hands to derail the freight train that is Brock Lesnar.
Dos Santos*has already made it into the upper echelon of the UFC*heavyweight division and is likely one fight away from a title shot.
I can see him beating Lesnar because of two advantages.
The first is his camp; he trains with the Nogueira brothers and Anderson Silva.
The second is that uppercut I mentioned earlier, when Lesnar shots he ducks his head leaving himself open for the uppercut.
That?s it. Those are the future champions of the UFC. I am eager to see what all of my fellow B/R junkies think about the future of the UFC titles.