UFC Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva: Who Should He Face in His Last 4 Fights?

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst IOctober 14, 2011

UFC Middleweight Champ Anderson Silva: Who Should He Face in His Last 4 Fights?

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    UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva only has four fights left in his career.  

    At least that's what his manager, Ed Soares, told SporTV in Brazil, based on a translation provided by Bloody Elbow.  

    If that is truly the case, who are the four ideal opponents "The Spider" should face off against before he decides to hang the gloves up?

    Let's take a look at what fights Silva would sign on the dotted line for—in an ideal world, that is. 

Chael Sonnen

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    Their battle at UFC 117 was widely recognized as the 2010 Fight of the Year for good reason. 

    Sonnen dominated the Spider for nearly 23 minutes, before Silva showed the heart of a true champion and submitted Sonnen with a triangle armbar. 

    There are certainly questions surrounding that fight, but given Sonnen's impressive performance against Brian Stann at UFC 136, along with Silva having just about cleared out the middleweight division, a rematch makes a lot of sense.  

    Uncle Chael was the first guy to really have Silva in trouble in a good seven years. Couple that with mic skills on par with Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in his prime, and we've got a fight that the fans are practically begging for.  

Georges St-Pierre

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    This super fight has been rumored for over a year now, and as long as Silva and UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre keep winning, the talk is not going to die out anytime soon.  

    Almost unanimously considered the No. 1 and 2 pound-for-pound fighters in the world, fans want to know if GSP's unstoppable takedowns and top control would be enough to defeat the Brazilian superstar in a five-round affair. 

    Of course, there is always a chance that Silva's vicious Muay Thai game is too much for St-Pierre to ever get inside for the takedown.  

    Who would have the more vicious ground-and-pound? Which Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt is the better grappler? 

    Would this fight be for the middleweight title or at a catch weight?

    So many questions are up in the air for this one, and there's only one way to find out the answers. 

Jon Jones

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    The UFC light heavyweight champion is viewed by many as "the next Anderson Silva," so why not have the legend face off against the prodigy, Jon "Bones" Jones?

    Sure, Jones is still raw right now, only 24 years old and with one title defense under his belt; but in a year, it is quite possible that he has made a case to fight the all-time great.  

    With wins over names like Mauricio Rua and Quinton Jackson already, Jones can realistically be only a few big wins away from a showdown with Silva. 

    Granted, Silva has only fought two light heavyweight bouts in his career, but a gamer like Jones would likely have no issues with signing up for this one at a 195-pound catch weight if that is the only way the fight could happen.  

Lyoto Machida

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    In the wild card of the bunch, rumor has it that "The Dragon," a Black House teammate of Silva's, has beaten the Spider in practice before. Why not let the fans see who wins inside the Octagon?

    Machida is 17-2 in his career and looks to recapture the UFC light heavyweight title at UFC 140. His elusive, precise striking and excellent takedown defense make him a difficult match up for just about anyone at 205 pounds.  

    Would Anderson Silva be an exception?  

    The fact that Machida is also a BJJ black belt doesn't hurt his cause, either.  

    While this is the one fight that fans and analysts can pretty definitely say would never happen, it sure sounds like one that would be a ton of fun to watch at the very least.