Anderson Silva: Who’s Next?

Anderson Silva is rapidly becoming one of my favourite fighters. He’s respectful of the sport and his opponents, and shows nothing but class everytime he’s representing the UFC. However that’s before and after his fights. During his fights you have the other thing I respect, and that’s the way he dominates his opponent with an almost a Mike Tyson circa mid 80’s dominance.

Though I could never imagine Tyson speaking as respectful of his upcoming opponent as Silva spoke recently of Dan Henderson

“Dan Henderson is one of the best fighters,” said Silva. “He’s proved that in many fights with many great guys. He’s got a totally different game, but it’s a great game. It’s going to be a very good fight and it’s going to be an honor to fight Dan Henderson, especially in the UFC, which is the biggest event. Dan Henderson has a great game, but it’s a different game than mine. It’s going to be an honor.”

The question is who’s next for a title shot after Saturday? If Henderson wins, there’s a fight against Rich Franklin, plus of course Henderson/Silva 2. But if the Silva wins, which is the most likely result, who’s there for him to fight?

Yushin Okami seems the most logical. If he gets past Evan Tanner, he’ll be 6-1 in the UFC – his only loss to Rich Franklin. But also, Okami was the last person to defeat Anderson Silva two years ago. Granted he won by disqualification when Silva kicked him in the head, but a win is a win.

Chris Leben would be an interesting fight, just because he was the first to fall to Silva in the UFC. They would have no problem selling a rematch. The rub is that Leben is 2-2 since then, so he’s hardy what you would call in line for a title shot.

Patrick Cote and Ed Herman are both 3-0 in their past three fights, so there could be something there. Maybe after Okami, the winner of a Cote/Herman fight would be in line for a title shot.

Outside of that, Wanderlei Silva dropping a weight class? Talk WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho into fighting his best friend? What does everyone else think? Leave the names of a few middleweight prospects in the comment area.

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