Anderson Silva retained his UFC middleweight title at UFC 148.
After the fight, one question remained unanswered: Who can beat Anderson Silva?
Silva, champion extraordinaire, has fought everyone in his path, from former champions to up-and-comers.
Silva is seemingly unstoppable. He’s knocked out opponents, makes them submit and has even embarrassed a few throughout his championship journey.
Silva remains undefeated in the Octagon, making it his personal playground. Proving there is no question that a fight against Silva should always be the main event, especially in the pay-per-view genre.
Now that Silva has once again demolished the middleweight division, many wonder who will take on Anderson Silva next.
Here are five guys we want to see Silva fight next.
*Stats are from MMA-Core.com
Everyone loves a bad guy. In the case of Michael “The Count” Bisping, he exemplifies the role.
Bisping almost won a title shot if not for Chael Sonnen at UFC on FOX 2. The loss set Bisping back after taking Sonnen on at short notice.
Bisping would need another winning streak to secure a title shot. He’s one of the few fighters in the middleweight division who hasn’t gotten a shot at Silva.
In fact, he criticized Silva’s victory against Sonnen, saying Silva’s knee to Sonnen’s chest was illegal.
Bisping vs. Silva would be the second headliner for the Brit. It would be the tale of the underdog vs. the best.
Many would say Bisping has no chance taking the title from Silva. However, in the UFC, everyone has a puncher’s chance.
The UFC loves trilogies.
They had two hits with Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock and Chuck Liddell vs. Randy Couture. The UFC even wrapped up a third fight with Ortiz and Forrest Griffin.
“Franklin vs. Silva 3” would be one of the most prestigious title matches in UFC history.
Silva took the belt from Franklin in 2006 at UFC 64: Unstoppable. He then defeated Franklin again at UFC 77: Hostile Territory in Franklin’s hometown of Cincinnati.
This would surely be another headliner for any UFC pay-per-view. In fact, Franklin seems to be resurrecting his winning ways.
Franklin defeated fellow Brazilian Wanderlei Silva in a unanimous decision two weeks ago.
Would the third try be the time when Rich “Ace” Franklin finally defeats Anderson “Spider” Silva? It would be poetic if Franklin got his title back from the man that pocketed it from him all those years ago.
Dan “Hollywood” Henderson is a big name in MMA.
Henderson, the No. 1 contender for the light-heavyweight championship. was making his way to getting another shot at Silva.
Unfortunately, Silva’s injuries and other contenders coincided with Henderson’s rise to the top.
Henderson went to Strikeforce with moderate success but returned to the UFC.
Henderson can fight Silva regardless if he takes the light-heavyweight title from Jon Jones.
Both Silva and Henderson can fight at the 205 weight mark, and both achieved success under that weight class.
Henderson must want to fight Silva again, especially since Silva choked out Henderson and unified the UFC and PRIDE middleweight titles.
If Henderson gets his chance, he won’t be choked out again.
St. Pierre has dominated the welterweight division in a different fashion.
He controls rounds and dissects his opponents. The UFC welterweight champion has been considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, like Silva has also done.
Why not settle the debate once and for all?
They would have to meet in a catch weight, with St. Pierre moving up in weight. Could the champion handle potential weight gain?
Plus, Silva would have a height and reach advantage over St. Pierre. Silva is 6’2” with a reach of 78 inches, while St. Pierre is 5’10” and has a reach of 76 inches.
St. Pierre would be the underdog against the undefeated Silva, but he is capable of handing Silva his first loss in the Octagon.
Now, this would be an intriguing matchup.
The current UFC light-heavyweight champion is one of the most unorthodox fighters the MMA world has seen.
He’s also beaten a who’s who of fighters, such as Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and “Sugar” Rashad Evans.
With this impressive track record, Jones could be considered for the title of the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world.
Putting Jones and Silva together would create a fight of epic proportions.
Silva has no problem fighting at the 205 weight mark. In fact, he is a natural light heavyweight.
If this super fight happens, expect it to be arguably the biggest fight in UFC history.