Anderson Silva doesn’t know who he will be facing next, but he does know who won’t be stepping into the Octagon against him.
In the past few weeks, Ed Soares, Silva’s manager and main voice in the media, has come out and destroyed the credibility of all of the challengers at 185 pounds. These so-called “amateurs” are chomping at the bit for a shot at “The Spider,” but it seems Soares isn’t impressed.
Chris Weidman was a popular pick to face Silva next after his absolute destruction of Mark Munoz, but it appears a bout with Weidman isn’t anywhere near Silva’s radar. The laundry list of possible challengers continues to grow with each event as the competitors stay active while Silva sits on the sidelines.
One name that did appear to garner interest with Silva and his camp, however, was Nick Diaz. The Stockton-based fighter made a lot of noise in the media by stating he would fight the UFC’s long-reigning middleweight champion. However, UFC President Dana White has since shot down that idea, which leaves only two possibilities for Silva to face “worthy” challengers.
A superfight between Silva and UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones isn’t something “The Spider” wants. One of the main arguments was the idea of Jones’ size being too much of an obstacle for the 185-pounder. That seems a bit strange as Silva had no qualms about facing another huge light heavyweight in Forrest Griffin earlier in his career. But Silva’s camp has a point, as a bout with Jones makes little sense with the men at two totally different points in their careers. Neither man needs or wants the fight, so there’s no reason to put it together.
That’s not to say that another superfight seems to be gaining Silva’s interest.
The biggest fight the UFC could ever make would be a battle between “The Spider” and UFC welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre. The fight has been rumored for years with both sides going back and forth, which has prolonged the signing of a contract. It is, for all intents and purposes, the Mayweather-Pacquiao of MMA. After the years of fans bickering about who would win and who is preventing this from happening, it seems Silva is willing to sit on the sidelines for a chance to meet St-Pierre.
Of course, the main problem with that is St-Pierre may not even be the welterweight champion by the time that fight comes together. He has a showdown with interim champ Carlos Condit, and whether St-Pierre wins or loses, he will have a bevy of new faces to meet in the Octagon.
The GSP-Silva fight is nothing more than a wet dream that MMA fans and Silva’s camp need to give up on. Yes, it would be great to see these two guys battle it out, but neither man needs this fight to cement their legacy as all-time greats in the sport.
Giving Silva a few options of people to possibly face is fine, but it’s clear that Silva’s camp is getting far too picky with their opponents. Soares is known for being a sore on the behind of MMA fans, as degrading Silva’s challengers is nothing new for him. Soares shot down Chael Sonnen as a credible challenger only to have that rivalry turn into perhaps the biggest the sport has ever seen.
As we saw with Lyoto Machida, Dana White loves a guy who wants to have a fight. It’s unclear what White will do with Silva, as it appears we won’t be seeing “The Spider” step into the Octagon for the rest of 2012. When your job is to fight and defend your title, sitting on the sidelines isn’t going to help your legacy at all.
Instead of defeating all these “amateurs” in devastating fashion, Silva’s camp is only driving his fan base farther and farther away. As Silva sits on the sidelines waiting for something that will never come, his challengers grow better and hungrier for UFC gold.
Photo: Anderson Silva (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)