There has been a lot of talk about who Anderson Silva should fight against in his last five fights as a UFC athlete. Some people say it should be against top contenders, some say it should be for titles, I'm going to go another route and pick which fights I think would be the best match-ups.
With only five remaning fights in his career, I feel the opponents need to be picked strategically. If Silva takes the Light Heavyweight belt to soon, it will slow down the weight class, assuming no one can take the belt back from him. Also, while holding the belt at both 185 Lbs. and 205 Lbs. is exciting, and a great accomplishment, it may bring both divisions to a halt.
The first step Silva should take is to relinquish his belt at 185 Lbs. This will not only let him focus on taking over the 205 Lbs division, but it will also open up doors for the rest of the Middleweights. Once Silva has his weight steady as a Light Heavyweight, his fights should go like this...(right about now you should all be seeing that TV effect when a character thinks of something, just imagine it).
1) Houston Alexander
Please don't yell at me yet, let me explain my pick, and then yell at me. While Alexander has lost his last three fights in the Octagon, and many of you probably think he doesn't "deserve" a shot at Silva, he is still a good fighter. He is explosive, powerful, and has good hands. I wouldn't pick him to win, but it would be a good fight.
At his current state skill-wise, Alexander may not be as exciting as I think, but I don't think he's been sitting around watching TV and stuffing his face with cupcakes since his last loss. With a few months of "counter-Silva" training, he should be able to stand up with Silva for at least a round or two.
2) Lyoto Machida
I know that Silva and Machida are friends and all, but this fight has to happen. Machida is an animal in the octagon, a calm, composed animal, but an animal none the less. Machida is undefeated, and his fighting style shows why. He is very hard to predict, and has the heart of a warrior. I don't believe that anyone can go their whole career without losing a fight, and who better to lose to than the Spider?
I can't predict an outcome for this fight just yet, but I can't at all see it being boring. Both fighters will make it exciting standing up, and I can imagine some crazy submission escapes and counters if the fight goes to the ground. The fight is long overdue, and will also set up my last pick (can you guess what it is? No? Then you're not paying attention, focus).
3) Forrest Griffin
By making this pick, I'm assuming Griffin loses the title to Rashad Evans. Forrest is a good striker, and as of now is a big face in the Light Heavyweight division. While I don't think the fight itself will be so incredibly exciting, I do believe the two names will draw a crowd, and money is king in the UFC.
Again I pick Silva to win, but I don't think he will dominate. Griffin can take a punch, and oddly enough thinks there are jokes written on the ends of people's fists, so he shouldn't go down to easily. I could see this fight going the distance.
4) Rashad Evans
With two fights left, a title shot seems in order. Again, I'm assuming Evans beat Griffin for the title. Evans has power and accuracy, and is also on fire. With a knockout win over Chuck Liddell, and an assumed win over Griffin, Evans is going to have a full head of steam coming into his first title defense, none the less against Anderson Silva.
I'm taking Silva to win this fight, partially because I think he'll be able to do it, and partially because it sets up my last pick. Regardless, it's going to be a good fight, with a lot of heavy hands. I have no doubt these guys will go toe to toe, quite possibly pleasing the selfish American fans.
(That was for you Mr. Lupoli. It bugs me when fans start booing after three seconds of a fight going to the ground, I'm surprised they aren't booing between rounds.)
5) Lyoto Machida (again)
I've wanted to see Machida have a title shot for a while now, and I think Silva Vs. Machida II is the perfect way for the Spider to end his career (I really hope he retires, he needs to take his legacy and let it be). Win or lose, it will once again be an exciting fight.
If Silva loses, so be it, he loses the title to a friend, and leaves the UFC with memories of dominating countless opponents. If Silva wins, he goes out on a great note, a victory to end with, and no empty feelings. He should then give back the belt, and I'm sure Dana White will figure out what to do from there.
Now I know that my picks are a little bit far fetched, but I trust myself. Anderson Silva is a legend in everyone's mind, and will forever be one of the most famous fighters to ever step foot in the Octagon. I do believe he will be the next person inducted into the UFC hall of fame.
Please let me know what you think of my picks, I'm sure there are going to be people who dissagree with me, and I urge you to speak up and say why, thank you.
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