Anderson Silva: Why He Hasn't Earned the Right to Choose His Opponents

Jordy McElroy@ IOctober 16, 2012

Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar - MMAFighting
Anderson Silva and Stephan Bonnar - MMAFighting

Anderson Silva's greatness knows no bounds.

He extended his UFC record to 16-0 at UFC 153 on Saturday night in a lopsided light heavyweight bout with Stephan Bonnar.

After toying with Bonnar for most of the first round, Silva finally listened to the pleas of his corner and finished the fight with a well-placed knee to the solar plexus.

It was a masterful performance that only fed UFC president Dana White's belief that Silva is the greatest fighter in the history of any combat sports.

"He's the greatest of all time. I think he's the greatest in any combat sport. Anderson Silva just does amazing things that nobody else can do," White said after the post-fight press conference.

"Watch every fight that he has. Enjoy every moment that he's here, because when he's gone, you're gonna regret it [if you don't]."

While Silva's talent is undeniable, some have scoffed at him for attempting to pick and choose opponents.

Chris Weidman, who is coming off impressive back-to-back wins over top-10 middleweight opposition, has been left out in the cold in the UFC title picture. With his career winding down, Silva is seeking marquee fights against bigger names in the sport.

Is this fair? Does Silva have the right to pick and choose opponents?

To be fair, Silva doesn't necessarily pick and choose his opponents. He only offers suggestions, which the UFC could deliver upon or opt to pass over.

With that said, a champion should always face the No. 1 contender in the division, regardless of notoriety.

The middleweight division is one of the thinnest in the sport, but as UFC champion, Silva has to be prepared to face whoever emerges as the next contender. Considering the talent pool in the division, there will obviously be a fight here or there that won't attract as much attention.

During the UFC 153 post-fight press conference, Silva claimed he doesn't fight for the money. If this is true, he should be willing to fight the next contender in line for the UFC title, which is either Weidman or Michael Bisping.

It's fun to see Silva jump up to light heavyweight from time to time and even entertain a future superfight with Georges St-Pierre, but as the reigning middleweight champ, the show must go on.