Making it look easy has become an art form for Anderson Silva and the artist was once again doing his thing at UFC Rio (UFC 134). Taking on the last man to give him an “L” in Yushin Okami, Silva needed less than two rounds to get his revenge and the “W”.
After measuring Okami for most of the first round, Silva poured it on to close out the round. The champ came out in round two loose and confident that Okami wasn’t getting this fight to the ground. With his hands at his waist, inviting Okami closer, Silva effortlessly counter punched his way to two knock downs. The second knockdown was the end of the line for Okami and ninth title defense as the fans at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro went bonkers.
The pound for pound best Mixed Martial Artist in the world gets his and 15th consecutive win, improving to 14-0 in the UFC.
Sitting at the post fight press conference the question was posed to Dana White, “what’s next for Anderson Silva?” Before the UFC President could answer though, Forrest Griffin chimes in and says he should fight two guys. Griffin knows firsthand just how good Silva is and while he was making a funny here it might be the only way to challenge “The Spider” at middleweight right now.
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Silva was later asked who he wanted to fight next and he responded by calling out his clone. Ok so that was no help guys, but thanks for playing anyway. Silva cannot fight two guys at once and cloning people is illegal so where does the middleweight champ go from here?
Many believe that Silva has cleaned out the division and the only thing left for him is super fights with other UFC champions. The two names that come up are welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (22-2) and light heavyweight champion Jon Jones (13-1).
Talk of a Silva vs. St. Pierre super fight has been thrown around for years now and it’s really never progressed past the talking stage. St. Pierre would need to move to middleweight for this bout and when it’s all said and done, it just doesn’t seem like he wants to do that. Since winning the title in dominating fashion over Shogun Rua, Jones’ has been brought up by fans to face the Spider. Silva has moved up to light heavyweight on two separate occasions, easily dispatching James Irvin and Forrest Griffin so having Silva compete at both 185 lbs. and 205 lbs. at the same time is clearly possible.
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Dana White stated at last night’s post fight press conference that Silva hasn’t completely cleaned out the middleweight division and that there were still some fights out there for him. Names that immediately come to mind are Dan Henderson, Chael Sonnen and Mark Munoz. A few more names out there would be Michael Bisping, Jason Miller and Rousimar Palhares, but they are a few wins away.
Last week rumors surfaced that Dan Henderson and the UFC were talking contract and that a rematch with Silva was also being discussed. The two fought back at UFC 82 and had a competitive first round before Silva submitted Henderson. The Strikeforce light heavyweight champion has also gone on record that the only fight at 185 lbs. he’ll take is a rematch with Silva.
Chael Sonnen is the only man the “nearly” beat Silva, but there must be an asterisk placed next to that statement. Sonnen tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after the fight, which he claimed was due to the synthetic testosterone injections he was taking due to hypogonadism. Should Sonnen get past Brian Stann at UFC 136, the rematch that was supposed to happen in February could happen in early 2012.
Mark Munoz is fighting Chris Leben at UFC 138 and a win would place him at the top of the list of fighters yet to face the champion. The bigger question here would be if Munoz would even fight Silva since they are both teammates at Blackhouse.
The division isn’t completely cleaned out, but it’s getting dangerously close to that. Whatever direction the UFC decides to go in with Silva’s next fight it needs to be followed with a plan of action for the future or the UFC might get caught with their pants down.
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