UFC: 4 Fights for Wanderlei Silva Instead of Patrick Cote

Matthew RyderFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2012

UFC: 4 Fights for Wanderlei Silva Instead of Patrick Cote

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    Wanderlei Silva is a living legend in both the annals of MMA, and also those of nice guy history. He loves his fans, has never been in a boring fight and has shown in his more recent bouts that he may have a few more miles left on his body than people believed.

    With that in mind, he’s likely to fight Patrick Cote when the UFC rolls into Macau for the first time in November. Cote is literally the perfect matchup for Silva; a guy who will produce fireworks and go until someone can’t anymore, so it’s hard to complain.

    But in the event that the UFC loses Cote to injury or other circumstances, here are some names that might be nice to see across the cage from the PRIDE legend.

Yushin Okami

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    Okami is coming off one of those “a win is a win” performances against Buddy Roberts at UFC 150. He didn’t look great by any means, but he did what he needed to on the way to a W.

    Many are wondering whether or not his absolute thrashing at the hands of Anderson Silva may have stolen his soul. He hasn’t done anything to dispel that concern in 2012.

    He’s an interesting stylistic matchup for (Wanderlei) Silva, one who has been proven to wilt under pressured striking, and may be the type of top-10 guy tailor-made for an upset.

Jake Shields

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    Another underwhelming winner from UFC 150, Shields is perhaps the most underappreciated middleweight in the world. Like it or not folks, he has a win over Dan Henderson. He’s also bested the likes of Robbie Lawler and Mayhem Miller at 185. He also has wins over some of the best in the world at 170 as well.

    Many would argue he’s better suited to middleweight, and his grappling-based style would matchup well with Silva’s ferocity and seriously underappreciated play from his back.

    A win probably puts either guy in top-10 talks.

Rousimar Palhares

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    Is there anyone at 185 that you wouldn’t want to see Palhares fight? His fights are insane. He literally lunges at his opponents legs at the first chance, and he either cripples them or they escape and pound him senseless.

    For Silva, it would become a question of whether or not he could defend his legs long enough to get knee-on-belly, hold his man down and unleash ground-and-pound rights until Palhares was out.

    Who’s with me?

Chris Leben

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    Despite their first meeting ending in a definitive loss for The Axe Murderer, he has long been haunted by his performance and has repeatedly mentioned a desire to try again. With his new, slightly more measured approach to in-cage chaos, he’d likely do a bit better.

    Leben is slated to return to the UFC in November when he’ll be freed from a drug-related suspension. If he’s cage ready, a tilt between he and Silva would be a wonderful addition to the card.