With Silva clearly the best striker in MMA, and no other wrestlers of Sonnen's caliber in the division, nobody else really has a chance. Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.
First, make no mistake. Chael Sonnen would still have a good shot against Anderson Silva if the two fought again.
Sure, a second round TKO is a far more convincing way to lose than a desperation submission attempt in the fifth. That said, the first round was a clear-cut rehash of their first fight. Sonnen can still take Silva to the ground with ease and hold him there for an entire round.
That said, saying “Sonnen is the Only Threat to Silva” is a group effort. Take a look at the B/R middleweight top 10.
From Brian Stann to Vitor Belfort to Michael Bisping to Hector Lombard, “The Spider” would be able easily dispatch any striker on that list.
Alan Belcher simply does not have the resume to fight Silva, and his injury history (he fought just once in both 2010 and 2011) makes his availability too uncertain to book for such a high-profile card.
Two of the other strong wrestlers on the list, Tim Boetsch and Chris Weidman, lack the athleticism and cardio to compete with Silva over five rounds and do not have the hands to keep Silva from picking them apart.
That just leaves Mark Munoz, and though Munoz is good, his chances of success are entirely rooted in his ability to imitate Sonnen. With that in mind, why not just let the original have another chance?