Anderson Silva: Who's Next?

Mark Pare@NEPats17Correspondent IIMay 22, 2008

Since entering the UFC in 2006, Anderson Silva has steamrolled the competition and shown the world why he is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world today.

Chris Leben (18-4), Rich Franklin (23-3-1 NC), Nate Marquardt (26-7-2 NC), Travis Lutter (9-5), and Dan Henderson (22-7) have all been beaten by Silva in the UFC.

On top of those fighters, he has beaten Jeremy Horn (79-17-5), Hayato Sakurai (32-8-2), and Jorge Rivera (15-6), among others.

He has compiled an impressive record of 24-4, and is the current UFC middleweight champion.

He has accomplished all that there is to accomplish in the UFC.  He has been so dominant during this seven-fight winning streak—six in the UFC; he beat Rich Franklin twice—that he has never gone past the second round.

I feel bad for Dana White, because he has to deal with the middleweight division and must figure out who Silva should fight next.

There are a couple options out there.  You can give Chris Leben a shot at the title, as the chance to avenge his loss to Silva in Silva's UFC debut.

Leben was supposed to fight another middleweight contender, Michael Bisping at UFC 85, but got a DUI charge and pulled out of the fight.  He was replaced by Jason Day.

Bisping, who defeated Charles McCarthy in Montreal last month in his middleweight debut, has one loss to his credit—Rashad Evans, in a tight light-heavyweight tilt at UFC 78.

A win by Bisping at UFC 85 can solidify a number-one contender spot for a fight in the fall against Silva.

That could seem like fact but one man could have something to say about it, Yushin Okami.

Okami is fresh off a win at UFC 82, knocking out former champion Evan Tanner with a timely knee in the second round, and looks poised to face Silva for the second time.

The first time they faced each other, Silva threw an illegal kick in the first round and was disqualified.

Silva will look to avenge that loss—his last loss in MMA competition—sometime this year and Michael Bisping will look to face the winner somewhere down the line.

Of course, Silva's UFC title defence may be put on hold—due to his increased interest in boxing Roy Jones Jr.