Anderson Silva’s Next Fight Will Be a UFC Middleweight Title Defense, but Against Who?

January 29, 2013
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Anderson Silva at the UFC 148 press conferenceIt’s currently like a good game of Clue trying to figure out what Anderson Silva‘s next move will be in the UFC.

No, Colonel Mustard won’t be attacking the champ with a lead pipe, but it seems each week a new piece of the puzzle is unveiled as Silva’s return to action draws closer and closer.

The UFC’s reigning and defending middleweight king is in the midst of a contract negotiation that will likely see him sign on for a new 10-fight deal. His first match-up under that deal is rumored for Spring 2013.

Now a few more clues have slipped out regarding who he may face when he returns. UFC president Dana White confirmed that despite there being no definitive top contender at 185 pounds that is currently healthy and on a winning streak, Silva’s next fight will be his 11th as UFC middleweight champion.

“We’re waiting on something. We want to see if this thing pans out, and when we’re ready to announce it, we’ll announce it,” White said while speaking to the media following the conclusion of UFC on Fox 6. “He’ll defend his title; it won’t be a superfight.”

That answer begs the question: who could Silva possibly face at 185 pounds right now that’s not already tied up or not injured?

Michael Bisping recently lost in his latest bid to earn a crack at the middleweight strap, as did both Tim Boetsch and Alan Belcher. Former Bellator champ Hector Lombard is tied up in early March in a fight against Yushin Okami, while former Strikeforce middleweight king Luke Rockhold will likely face Vitor Belfort in his Octagon debut.

Silva’s camp has tossed around the idea of facing former Strikeforce champ Cung Le, but White chalks that and a lot of the fights mentioned by the champion’s camp as random, odd match-ups that rarely ever see the light of day.

“This is typical Anderson Silva/Ed Soares craziness. Every (expletive) time there’s a fight, it’s he wants to fight (Demetrious) ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson, and then he wants to fight (expletive) this guy and that guy. It’s always the same deal that happens,” said White.

“I absolutely will not fight Chael Sonnen, he doesn’t deserve the title, and I’m not doing this, and I’m not doing that. This is what we do.”

The biggest contender in the division could very well be undefeated top five middleweight Chris Weidman. He’s gunning for a shot at Silva, and has been for most of the past year, but unfortunately he’s still on the sidelines nursing a bum shoulder after having surgery to close out 2012.

Weidman and his manager met with White over the weekend and made their intentions clear.

“Weidman and his manager sat down and said, ‘We want Anderson Silva; we want to fight him. I’m going to beat him. I’m going to be the next world champion,’ and I said okay, we’ll call you in a few weeks and get this thing figured out,” White stated.

Now the waiting game begins until the next clue on who Anderson Silva will face is revealed. Will he finally give Chris Weidman his shot? Or is there a dark horse contender that the world isn’t looking at currently?

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  • gabeq

    Its gotta be chris, who else is available?

    • dan

      Rockhold, Belfort, Jacare, and possibly Evans

      • Seppo

        Jacare definitely is the most interesting choice

        • but not practical, If jacare gets a title shot it wont be before rockhold gets one.

        • evp

          no way, they are training partners

  • dan

    I love how Silva trolls everyone with crazy statements but in the end, he always fights who the bosses tell him to. Its either gonna be Rockhold or Weidman. And I’m sure Anderson is gonna want a ton of fight/win money since neither fighter will draw much in PPVs.

    • MuayThaiFood

      How’s that going to work since Vitor is going to separate Rockhold from his consciousness when they meet up?

  • rome

    looks like Weidman..or maybe he is waiting to see what happens with the rashad fight…..idk about cung le…but that would be a good one…..

  • rome

    hold on what bout …Costa Philippou

    • Joey

      What about him? You mean the guy that beat Boetsch when he got hurt mid fight? or the one that won two uninspiring decision in a row against Riki Fukada and Court Mcgee (who’s now a WW).

      Yeah I would rather not have him fight for the title yet. He needs to beat a top 5 guy before he is even in the mix.

      • Lucas Freire

        As comic as it may sound…Boestch was a top 5 guy.

  • Joey

    Dana recently said that they are waiting on “something” before they make a decision on what fight they will offer Anderson but that they will do so soon.

    I can only imagine that means waiting on Rashad Evans fight this weekend. I really hope its not Rockhold that ends up fighting him with the Champion vs Champion moniker. That would not be a competitive fight in the least.

    I know I will be pulling for Rashad this weekend as a fight between him and Anderson sounds very intriguing.

    • trupert

      True and maybe also waiting to see if Lombard wins, looks good and is uninjured. We’ll see.

    • bajafox

      I want to see Rashad and Anderson too, out of all the possible match ups, this is the one I’d rather see

  • IDGAF80

    Its not rocket science. Rockhold vs. Belfort shouldn’t even be happening. Rockhold should have the same opportunity as Melendez.

    • Or Silva could quit being a baby and fight Weidman

      • dan

        Weidman offers nothing to Silva. Not a fight and definitely not money. Weidman is nothing more than a chance for Silva haters (white ppl) to turn into Hacksaw Jim Duggans. USA! USA! USA!

        Oh and no one give me crap about race. I’ve been to Silva fights @ hooters and was in Columbus, OH the night he smashed Hendo so I’ve seen white ppl react to Silva

        • GoNoles

          haha oooo **** you seen white people who chances are all knew each other and were hanging out in a single bar in a single area? dont question this guy he is clearly a genius, a philosopher of sorts.

        • John Bunch

          Just do me one favor. Could you qualify which -ism trumps the other…nationalism or racism? Because on the one hand you mention the fact that white people (I assume you meant some…not all) were rooting for Silva to lose ( I was I love Hendo!), but then you threw in the “USA” stuff, which is obviously nationalism. Shogun is pretty white, but he’s “foreign” yet John Jones is obviously African-American, yet not foreign. Were white people just confused during that fight, or did they take a side?

  • ResidencyMMA

    Silva vs. Weidman, Le vs. Philippou, Rockhold vs. Belfort, Belcher vs. Boetsch, Bisping vs. Franklin. Sorted.

    • Joey

      Solid list, although I think it will end up being Belcher vs Bisping. Then have Philippou fight Franklin and then make Le vs Lombard (which would be a really fun striking war)

      • BobLemons

        I don’t think that’ll happen, they don’t like matching losers with winners.

        Bisping vs Franklin makes more sense, both coming off KO losses. Le vs Philippou would be interesting. Belcher vs Boetch and Lombard already has a fight with Okami scheduled.

        • Joey

          Totally called that Belcher vs Bisping fight they just booked.

  • bmc92

    i think rashad if he can win against lil nog should get the shot and then weidman and vitor should fight for no1 contender fight and while thats happening have le fight rockhold. silva v rockhold now is not a good fight at the moment and the chapion v chapion thing means nothing in my opinion! maybe other people feel different but i dont think rockhold has anthing on silva at the moment not alotof people in the devison do either maybe only rashad,vitor and possibly weidman i gotta see this guy fight again to beleive the hype!

    • Hugh Shakeshaft

      Rashaad 1st, if not then Weidman.

      Silva/Soares want Cung Le, fight dodging cowards as usual. No surprise there.

  • The Rock Obarma

    I just want to see Silva face Jon Jones. I’d be excited about Rockhold vs Weidman and any other top contender fight involving Lombard, Le, Belfort or Belcher, but for Silva, all the above contenders don’t really interest me even a fraction compared to a fight against Jones.

  • markofthecentury

    It’s so hard to like silva these days

    • Milosc

      No, the article succeeded

      How many times did Cassius Clay shave his balls in 1963? This is what happens when you magnify someone’s life and thoughts. Dana White is Anderson’s ‘meaningless anecdote’ Linda Tripp

  • It’s looking like Evans if he can get by lil Nog

    • MuayThaiFood

      You guys are jumping the gun a bit with Rashad. There’s no guarantee he can get to 185.

      • John Bunch

        I agree. I would love to see that fight, but after reading Rashad’s take on moving down 20 pounds to fight…that is a HUGE lifestyle adjustment. It’s easy for me to say it’s worth it, just because it sounds like a great fight, and Rashad can do what Chael did with better striking and GnP…but Rashad has to change his life to do it, and become disciplined in a way he’s never had to be at this point in his career. He seems like he’s made some bank already, so it’s not like he has to do this…Dana would have to dangle a serious amount of cash I would imagine. But let’s say he does…is he going to be the Rashad he needs to be to fight Silva the way he wants to? If he just barely makes the cut and then has no energy to bring 5 rounds to Silva…what’s the point? He’s got money either way…does he want humiliation of his legacy? idk…rambling…

      • Hugh Shakeshaft

        Mike Dolce!

  • The best match ups for Anderson Silva are Cung Le, GSP, or Jon “Bones” Jones.

  • John Bunch

    The comments are the best part of any article about Anderson Silva these days…and the writers know it. Comments and views equal money…here’s another one for you Damon.

  • Dante McCarty

    lmfao as if jones would stand any chance at all to silva…..he would knock him out… he does everyone else lmfao