Without a shadow of a doubt, Anderson Silva will go down as one of the greatest fighters to ever compete in Mixed Martial Arts. Many people assumed that Silva would leave the Wachovia Center with a blemish on his perfect UFC record. Those people were obviously wrong.
At UFC 101, Silva knocked out former Light Heavyweight Champion Forrest Griffin three minutes and 23 seconds in the very first round. Not only did he knock Griffin out, Silva knocked Griffin out while retreating and with a jab!
Forrest Griffin is as tough as they come. If you were to knock out a fighter with the type of caliber like Forrest Griffin, you are either extremely lucky or you are that damn good! After winning an unprecedented 10th consecutive victory in the octagon, Silva does not have luck, but skill and talent on his side.
Like Forrest said in the pre-show, "...the guy beats very, very tough fighters and he makes it look so easy.." Griffin could have never been more truthful. Silva redeemed himself from back to back sub-par performances in his last two fights.
Granted, Silva's previous fight against fellow Brazilian, Thales Leites, was considered unimpressive and boring buy many viewers.
However, the Leites fight still showed just how smart a fighter Silva is. Silva wanted to entertain the fans and give them a show at Leites' expense. Silva did not want to mix it up on the ground with a Jiu Jitsu master.
Instead, Silva would rather knock his block off. Unfortunately, Leites thought otherwise and decided to lay on the ground most of the fight. Silva easily won via unanimous decision.
The other fight that received a lot of heat from many people was the fight against Middleweight Contender, Patrick Cote. What happened in that fight was a "freak" accident. Nobody expected Cote to blow out his knee in that fight, causing Silva to win by referee stoppage 39 seconds in the third round. Nobody expected that one bit.
Now the quest for another challenge will start, once again, to give the UFC Middleweight Champion a run for his money. Here are some possible fighters that do carry the necessary tools to put a blemish on the perfect UFC record of Silva.
Let's start with the Welterweight Division.
The former PRIDE Champion has earned his spot back into contendership for the Middleweight crown. After a spectacular knockout of British sensation and TUF 3 winner, Michael Bisping, at UFC 100, Henderson showed the world that he still has that hunger inside of him.
Quite frankly, that hunger never really left the former Olympian. That hunger just needed to be fueled.
Maybe it was the hype that was built up between Henderson and Bisping that made "Hendo" train like a demon possessed. Maybe that is what he needs if he were to face Anderson Silva one more time. Maybe Hendo has to be pissed off at his opponent in order for him to elevate his game to the next level.
Everybody knows the knockout power behind the hands of the California native. Everybody knows that if Henderson wants to take you down, he will take you down. Silva knows that, considering that Henderson is the sole person to actually win a round against Silva back in UFC 82.
It was Henderson's ability to take down the champion in the first round and hold a dominant position, landing some successful strikes on Silva. Unfortunately for Dan, Silva decided to just finish Dan on the ground, choking out the challenger in the second round.
With that victory in hand, Silva already has a psychological advantage over Henderson. Since he easily (as usual) beat Henderson in that kind of a fashion. Henderson may not want to suffer another loss like that again. Silva really has nothing to prove against Henderson, but Henderson does. Maybe he can use the loss to Silva to fuel that hunger once again.
With a perfect 11-0 record, Demian Maia is quickly turning heads every time he steps into the octagon. This guy's Jiu-Jitsu is out of this world! He truly is a master at art of Jiu-Jitsu. What separates him from fellow Brazilian and another Jiu-Jitsu phenom in Thales Leites is that Maia finishes his fights. He has choked out everybody that has gone toe to toe with him in the UFC so far.
The only problem is that his striking has to be tested. Silva is vicious when it comes to the striking game and will have a huge advantage if the fight were to stay on the feet. But, then again, Maia really never had to utilize his striking.
He just uses his striking to set up his sick ground game. But Silva's takedown defense is very, very good. It would be interesting to see those two go at it.
UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St. Pierre
When you think of fighters that are pound-for-pound the best, you can't argue that Georges St. Pierre is one of them. The UFC Welterweight Champion has been steam rolling over everybody since his shocking defeat to Matt Serra in UFC 69. Each victory St. Pierre has won his fights convincingly, just like Silva. He has showed great well-rounded skills in each of his fights, just like Silva.
Both Silva ad St. Pierre are cleaning house in there respected division. Silva stepped up to find challenges in a higher weight class. St. Pierre is running out of competition or he is running out of fighters that can push him to the very limit. Maybe it is time for St. Pierre to seek challenges elsewhere. Why not?
He is already considered a huge Welterweight and he already walks around 185 lbs. when he is not defending his title. But as far as size goes, if he were to jump up to Middleweight he would just be an average Middleweight. "GSP" is not your average fighter. But neither is Silva. If this fight were to happen, it could very well possibly be one of the greatest fights ever.
Recently I wrote an article about the return of Vitor Belfort. After UFC 103 we will see if "The Phenom" has what it takes to claim his status once again as one of the best fighters in the world. This time he is targeting the Middleweight division. And from his recent performances he looks very, very good. Belfort looks like the Belfort of old.
In the Light Heavyweight Division, Belfort had to rely on his speed more than his strength when fighting. Now since he has dropped to Middleweight, he has both speed and power. With that in mind, Belfort is even more dangerous than ever. His ground game is still very good and his cardio is unparalleled.
Seeing those two go at it would definitely be exciting. A classic stand up war! But we have to see what happens at UFC 103 first.
If Silva wants to fight the best. Why not fight the absolute best in the Light-Heavyweight division? Why not consider taking on fellow Brazilian and current UFC Light-Heavyweight Champion in Lyota Machida.
This kid is the kind of fighter that is extremely difficult to train for. Not only do you have to train with the all-around aspects of MMA like wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, and Muy Thai, you have to train to solve the Karate background of Machida.
So far, no fighter has found a solution. Machida's Karate background not only makes him extremely elusive (he is the least hit fighter in MMA history), he is able to see openings in his opponents that most MMA fighters cannot see. Not only that, Machida's MMA skills is also at a very high level. So you do have to train extra, extra hard to prepare for him.
Maybe Anderson Silva has that solution.
Well those are my thoughts, now it is time to hear yours. Who do you think is the one man that will hand Anderson his first loss? and will it be by decision? or will we see Silva get knocked out? or, dare I say, a tapout from the champ? Or will Silva just walk over everybody like he usually does? Until then this is Balistik signing out.
"MMA ALL THE WAY!!"