It was supposed to be a KO or submission in the first round. Anderson Silva was supposed to destroy Patrick Cote in seconds; instead, Cote went over the second round for the first time in Silva's UFC career.
Was Cote that much of a challenge? No, not at all. Obviously, Cote couldn't find Silva, just as everyone thought would happen. Cote is a very strong fighter, but not nearly as quick as the Spider is. Anderson was trying to give everyone a fight. Who wants to pay $45 to $55 to see Silva dispose of someone in seconds or just a few minutes?
It's a good thing to see someone dominate like Anderson Silva does, but it's also a bad thing. Look at Tiger Woods. It is almost boring watching Tiger golf in the last round of a tournament when he is leading because you know what's going to happen. With Silva, it's like the same thing. Except watching golf is free.
This bares the question: What is next for the pound-for-pound king of MMA? There are a couple fighters that Silva will not fight, Machida and Filho, as he is training partners with them and all three of them has stated multiple times they will not fight each other. So what is next? Let's take a look at a few contenders that have been thrown around.
1. Chuck Liddell
He may be older and not as good as he was, but he is a legend at light heavyweight. Once the king of MMA and a huge superstar, he has recently become a punching bag for younger more all around skilled fighters. The thing is, he can still give UFC the PPV draw they are looking for. Anderson Silva vs Chuck Liddell at 205 pounds would be the biggest PPV draw ever.
2. Yushin Okami
This is Silva's last loss. It happened back in 2006 at Rumble on the Rock. For those who don't know what happened, Silva up-kicked Okami while Okami was on his knees and Silva was disqualified. UFC wouldn't want this fight because no one outside of MMA and its biggest fan has even heard of Okami. I wouldn't mind it, though I don't think Okami would be a challenge at all for Silva.
3. Georges St. Pierre/BJ Penn
This one is tricky because we don't know what the outcome is going to be yet. If Penn wins, I do not think he will move that far up to fight Silva, but if GSP wins, he would have the skill and size to actually challenge Silva. Problem is the height and reach that Silva would have could be devastating for GSP.
If you want my opinion, I would go with GSP, if he beats BJ Penn. Just because GSP is a spitting image of Silva, just a smaller version. The problem with all of those choices is that they all have opponents upcoming, except Liddell.
So, in my honest opinion, I don't think there is a doubt that it will be Silva vs. Liddell in UFC 92 (The Ultimate 2008) or UFC 93 on the card with Franklin and Henderson. My guess on the outcome is Silva would win in the first or second round and Liddell would possibly walk away from the sport.
Like when Jack Nicklaus handing the baton to Tiger, it will be Chuck handing the baton to Anderson, and then we can start another debate—not on who will fight Silva next, but who will even want to.