With recent supernaturally-impressive wins over former champion Rich Franklin and Pride's Middleweight champion Dan Henderson, Anderson "The Spider" Silva is virtually causing the Middleweight division to lose it's credibility of actually giving Silva a run for the title.
After Patrick Cote's destruction of Ultimate Fighter winner Kendell Grove, Mike "Quick" Swick's recent drop to Welterweight, and Evan Tanner's unpredictable and unforeseen knee to the face, our possible top contender has been reduced to Yushin Okami—who holds a blemish on his record from former champ Rich Franklin—who was decimated by The Spider twice so far.
Although Okami does hold a freak win over Silva (by disqualification due to an illegal up-kick) I highly doubt Okami has what it takes to overcome Silva's jujitsu and striking skills. Although Okami has been said to be as strong as an ox in heat, Silva still managed to get the back of an Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestler and choke him out, so I'd have to give Silva's constantly-improving technique over Okami's strength for sure.
So who does that leave us? How about Middleweight newcomer and Ultimate Fighter winner Michael Bisping? I say after Silva wipes the floor with Okami, Silva vs Bisping should be next in order.
Is there a trend visible in the UFC now? After BJ Penn proves that he is an unstoppable force in the Lightweight division with a future win over recently alleged steroid user Sean Sherk, I believe BJ Penn can hold that belt until he begins to develop a waist rash and gives it up.
Although the Lightweight division is by far more in-depth with credible contenders in Roger Huerta, Frank Edgar, Kenny Florian, and Thiago Tavares to name a few, I still see BJ Penn as far superior a fighter than the rest of the Lightweight division.
Maybe after Silva has decided he's gotten tired of the Middleweight division, he'll move up and fight more tougher game within the Light Heavyweight division. With an undoubtedly amazing first round submission win in the first round over Matt Hughes and a razor thin split decision lost from George St. Pierre in which I still believe BJ Penn was the victor, it has been proven that fighters can hold their own with the best from the heavier divisions.
Like BJ Penn, I believe we'll soon witness Silva prove this as well.