I had a thought just a few months ago that if Anderson Silva dispatched of his top money-making rival Chael Sonnen in their second meeting as he did that longest running UFC champ would be left without a lot of options moving forward.
Well, I’m happy to say that I was completely wrong.
With a string of recent impressive performances there is a long line of fighters with a reasonable claim to being the number-one contender for the Brazilian bomber including Chris Weidman, Alan Belcher and Tim Boetsch but Silva deemed those challengers a “joke”" in a recent interview with Portuguese magazine TATAME.
MMAJunkie.com caught up with Ed Soares, the manager and translator for the middleweight king where he spoke on his newly crowned slew of challengers.
“I don’t think any opponent in that category is a joke,” Soares said. “I just think that some of his opponents just aren’t as attractive. When I look at Weidman, I think he’s a very talented guy. He’s got a bright future. But when I look at it, he’s 9-0. Anderson has got double the wins he has in his career in the UFC. So I just don’t see the value of being able to fight a guy like this right now. That’s my opinion.”
The fighter that he considers should be next in line for Silva is Rich Franklin, who recently returned to his winning ways avoiding a brutal onslaught from Wanderlei Silva to notch his second victory over the former Pride king.
“The only guy that Rich Franklin has ever lost to at 185 pounds is Anderson,” Soares said. “So when you look at the 185-pound division, he’s definitely up in the mix as far as a contender. I think [Silva would] be interested in fighting Franklin again, just simply because he respects Rich a lot, and he feels that Rich was the guy that gave him the opportunity to fight for the belt.”
While Franklin has always been an interesting piece of the middleweight puzzle, Silva also has a thought of meeting his only rival for the pound-for-pound crown George St-Pierre.
For years this has been a fight that hardcore fans have salivated over with a meeting between the two dominate champions that reside within 15-pounds of one another.
“It’s not an easy situation,” Soares said. “The middleweight division is a little bit complicated right now. But who am I to sit here and say who they should fight? I’m just saying that as far as the biggest fights go, I see a potential fight with Georges St-Pierre being a big fight.”
Whether or not this fight happens would depend largely on the welterweight champ though, in the past he stated that he would have to take a lengthy amount of time away to build up the muscle mass to challenge with his much larger foe.
Right now, most consider Weidman to be at the front of the 185-pound cue but the champ has other thoughts.