The first step is to get past Anderson Silva. I mean he's unbeatable! There is no one the middleweight class that can touch him...or at least no one in the UFC. Outside the UFC is a wildwest of MMA talent, some of which may be coming to an octagon near you very soon...unless it already has!
The first and most obvious threat would be the "dreamcatcher" and red devil sports club product Gegard Mousasi. He is the most dangerous fighter in Japan since Fedor, maybe because he trains with Fedor.
This top prospect has a record 25-2-1 and has impressed just about everybody that has seen him fight. He holds wins over such top fighters as Cyborg Santos, Jacare Souza, Melvin Manhoef, Dong Sik Yoon, Denis Kang, and heavyweight iron head Mark Hunt.
All of these wins have come over the past year and all but one of them were finished in the first round, putting mousasi on a seven fight win streak not including his k-1 demolition of like named Musashi. This man is revered as the next big thing in MMA and rightfully so! Watch out Anderson.
Next is Yoshiro Akiyama, more aptly known as Sexyama by many adoring fans. Conveniently, Anderson will be greeting this olympic judoka to the UFC very soon.
Akiyama will be one of the more dangerous opponents Anderson could possibly see as he possesses innovative submissions as the Ezekiel Choke which he has won with twice and creative KO victories like a spinning back kick KO over Nagata in K-1. Anderson may have trouble with his unpredictability.
After that, Anderson has a Brazilian triumvirate from the Wand fight team gunning for him in Wanderlei Silva, Demian Maia and Dream stalwart Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza. Bad blood has been brewing for some time now between former teammates and friends Anderson and Wanderlei.
This bodes well for setting up a tram vs team battle as Wand has three of the best in the world on his squad and Anderson trains with the legendary Noguiera Fight Team.
Former Chute Boxe stars fighting one another would be an explosive war and with Wanderlei's fists, Maia's submissions, and Jacare's well rounded game any of those fights make for a war and a great fight. anderson may be a bit more weary of his own division now and less concerned with fighting 205's.
Another threat in the UFC is newly signed Vitor Belfort. This former superstar and UFC posterboy lost himslef for a while, but is back now better than ever and lighter.
This weight class change may be the biggest signing for the UFC since its dubious phone call signing of Cro Cop. Not to mention that Belfort is coming off of a destruction of Matt Lindland in 37 seconds in Affliction, Vitor looks hungrier than ever. Spider beware.
Furthermore, Anderson has to very careful about the winner of Bisping vs. Henderson. Henderson would be a much bigger threat to the Spider due to athleticism, wrestling ability, and a more crisp standup game.
This fight seems to be overlooked but if you recall round one of Henderson Silva, Henderson may have very well won. A second fight may give Henderson just the chance he needs to right his wrongs.
Henderson is still one of the most dangerous fighters in the netire division and him flying under the radar like this doesn't bode well for his next opponent after Bisping (can you tell I'm betting on Hendo?).
Lastly, and least likely, strikeforce middleweights like Cung Le may come to the UFC and disrupt the balance of things. Cung is one of the most explosive fighters in the game on his feet and has the power to end a fight with any one of his limbs.
However, its been over a year since his last fight and even then it is unlikely that anybody challenges his belt, including the so called "rejuvenated" Villasenor. Although it is unlikely that any of them would pose a serious challenge to Silva, it is a possibility. I mean the guy broke Shamrock's arm with a kick! Give him some props for that!
Whether or not any of these fighters seriously challenge Anderson or even succeed in defeating him, remember Anderson isn't unbeatable. I know I'm not the only one who remembers Ryo Chonan's flying heel hook and Ryo Chonan isn't half as talented as some of the fighter's I've named.
Not only that but Silva has seriously lacked inspiration in his last few fights not finishing Cote in three rounds and partaking in a snorefest against Leites. Now may be the prime time to dethrone the longtime monarch middleweight. The question is...who is the man for the job?