Anderson Silva: 3 Fights We'd Love to See Silva Take at Light Heavyweight
Anderson Silva with his 10th title defense (Image: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE).
Anderson Silva was able to TKO arch-nemesis Chael Sonnen during their UFC 148 rematch, and the UFC must now decide what to do with the dominant Brazilian champion.
There are some matchup possibilities still left in the middleweight division, but MMA fans believe Silva may take another venture in the light-heavyweight division.
Silva fought in the light-heavyweight division twice before, with a knockout win against Forrest Griffin and a knockout win against James Irvin. Both opponents were completely exposed and looked like amateurs when fighting Silva, but there are other appealing light heavyweights for Silva to face.
UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Both Jon Jones and Anderson Silva said it’s not a fight they want, but it’s the exact type of "super fight" that MMA fans are craving to see. Silva’s elite Muay Thai and in-cage experience against the youthful athleticism of Jones would create an appealing matchup.
Jones has shown his ability to utilize striking and submissions to finish fights and continues to add skills to his strengthening MMA arsenal.
It seems like a very unlikely matchup right now, but it is a fight MMA fans will continue to discuss as long as both fighters look unstoppable.
The UFC will be able to find an appealing matchup for Silva, and Jones faces Dan Henderson at UFC 151 in September. If Jones gets by Henderson, it seems more likely that the Greg Jackson-trained fighter may find his way up to heavyweight.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Even though this seems to be a fight we might see at middleweight—with former light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans mulling a drop in weight—fans are interested in seeing it at any weight.
Evans has an excellent blend of wrestling and improving standup, so he’d look to try and make it a tough fight against Silva.
He'd likely attempt to land a couple of shots standing before looking to drag Silva down to the ground—a “weakness” that Sonnen was able to exploit in the first round of the UFC 148 main event.
This seems like a likely fight for the UFC to make, especially with Evans seeking a fight with the champion:
@lorenzofertitta i want 2 pick a fight with the middle weight champion! Lol Make it happen!! Please!!— Rashad Evans (@SugaRashadEvans) July 8, 2012
If Evans doesn’t drop down to middleweight, a catchweight may be arranged if Silva doesn’t want to go all the way up to LHW for some reason.
Rematch with Dan Henderson
Anderson Silva chokes out Dan Henderson at UFC 82 (Image: UFC).
Dan Henderson tried to topple Anderson Silva at UFC 82 in 2008, eventually tapping due to a rear-naked choke submission in Round 2.
Silva is a superior striker in regards to technique and tenacity, but Henderson has heavy hands and a solid chin that makes him a dangerous opponent.
During the first fight, Henderson was able to take the fight down to the ground in Round 1. The Team Quest fighter was able to pass into side control, but was unable to land any significant strikes from the position.
In Round 2 of the fight, Henderson was rocked after getting too sloppy with his striking skills, and Silva eventually was able to sink in the fight-ending choke.
A rematch in the middleweight division seems unlikely, but Henderson has found success fighting at light heavyweight and heavyweight in recent years. Henderson has been able to find a home in the UFC's light-heavyweight division and still utilizes his wrestling base and heavy hands to punish opponents.
Henderson will compete for the light-heavyweight championship against Jon Jones at UFC 151 in September.