Despite looking like an overwhelmed rookie opposite Jon Fitch at UFC 153, talented welterweight prospect Erick Silva still possesses a bright future in the UFC.
He was simply at the wrong place at the wrong time.
In the end, the defeat could very well help the Brazilian mature as a fighter, like Georges St-Pierre's loss to Matt Hughes at UFC 50 did for him.
With that said, assuming Silva can quickly regroup and fix his mistakes, here are five fights he should take on next.
Justin Edwards puts on an exciting fight every time he steps inside the Octagon.
That's exactly the type of fighter Erick Silva should want to fight in order to regain any popularity or praise he lost in his defeat against Jon Fitch.
Luckily for Silva, Edwards is one sick puppy. Win or lose, the guy literally aims to put on fantastic fights. He'd be more than willing to stand and sling leather with the Brazilian, or test the water on the ground.
Either way, this would be a very exciting fight for Silva as he looks to regain momentum within a crowded division.
Coming off a second-round comeback knockout over Aaron Simpson at UFC on FX 5, veteran Mike Pierce is looking to continue his swinging ways against better opponents.
His striking power and ability to push forward after being caught would compliment Erick Silva's love to stand and bang.
Silva definitely has the all-around advantage considering his speed and technique, but he'd be a fool to sleep on a tank like Pierce.
If the Brazilian can capture a decisive victory, Pierce would be a fantastic notch on his belt and a great way to throw his name back into the division's top 10.
Dan Hardy's name alone is a good reason for Erick Silva to take this fight.
People know who he is.
They may not agree that he's back to his old title contending form after just two consecutive victories over Duane Ludwig and Amir Sadollah, but he's always one punch away from winning a close fight.
Taking on Hardy would be a great decision for Silva. It would most definitely be a battle of strikes, and with superior speed, the Brazilian should have the upper hand.
After witnessing what Che Mills did to Duane Ludwig back in September it's easy to see that he's a very well-rounded fighter.
Mills did have substantial trouble against Rory MacDonald at UFC 145, but more likely than not the English-based fighter was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the fight.
Now, after settling down and looking like a guy capable of sticking around with any welterweight, Mills' stock is rising.
Fighting him would be a big opportunity for Erick Silva. It'd also be an opportunity for the UFC to see which rising star is the real deal.
Thiago Alves may be a bigger name than Erick Silva deserves at this point, but the UFC could opt to throw the welterweight prospect against another tough veteran to test him one more time.
Despite his overall skill set and mainstream popularity, the fact of the matter is that Alves hasn't fought since March, in which he lost a devastating bout on the back of an improbable Martin Kampmann comeback.
If the UFC wants to give Silva one more chance to prove his time is now, as well as giving Alves a fighter who he can get back on the map against, this matchup seems perfect.
Not to mention these talented strikers would absolutely rock each other on their feet.
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