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What UFC 162 means to the middleweight division

Mixed martial arts fighter Anderson Silva, from Brazil,

Mixed martial arts fighter Anderson Silva, from Brazil, poses during the UFC 153 weigh-in event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday Oct. 12, 2012. The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization is holding fighting events on Saturday. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) Credit: AP Photo Felipe Dana

Anderson Silva defends his middleweight title against Chris Weidman at UFC 162 on Saturday in Las Vegas.

Some thoughts on what it will mean to the middleweight division after the winner's hand is raised:

If Anderson Silva wins . . .

-- Very little changes in the overall makeup of the 185-pound picture since the champion remains as such.

-- Clear some bandwidth on your Internets because all you'll hear/read will be "Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones" superfight rhetoric. On occasion, you might even hear some Silva vs. GSP talk.

-- It's possible, depending on the type of fight at UFC 162, that Silva could rematch Weidman. Of course, Silva has only had three rematches in his entire career.

If Chris Weidman wins . . .

-- UFC president Dana White has said multiple times that if Weidman were to beat Silva at UFC 162, there would be an immediate rematch. (Provided both fighters emerge from their bout healthy enough to go at it again relatively soon.)

-- Regardless of the rematch or not, what a Weidman win would create would be a wide-open field at 185 pounds. All legitimate contenders right now at middleweight become top title contenders since none of those fights have already occured. Silva has cleared out his division multiple times, but he's been the champion so long, that eventually new contenders such as Weidman emerge. But with Weidman as a champion, it's easy to see title shots in the coming months against fighters such as Vitor Belfort, Michael Bisping, Yushin Okami and Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, depending on how everything shakes out each time. The point is that all of those fighters become viable title contenders quicker than if Silva remains champion.

New York Sports