Witnessing greatness is something that can’t be taken for granted in sports. Anderson Silva, viewed by many as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time, defeated Nick Diaz at UFC 183 via unanimous decision in his return to the Octagon following the gruesome leg injury-loss to Chris Weidman. Just over 270 miles away in Glendale, Ariz., Tom Brady was completing a historic comeback of his own against the Seattle Seahawks to give the New England Patriots their fourth Super Bowl Championship.

But unlike Brady, Silva doesn’t seem as certain to be returning after a victorious comeback. After his win, Silva said that he’d meet with his family to discuss his future, but it seemed like the door was cracked for a potential retirement.

For this Monday Morning Matchmaker, let’s completely disregard that notion and assume he’s going to fight once more before Vitor Belfort finally gets his shot at Weidman for the middleweight championship.

Besides Silva winning the the main event, Al Iaquinta appears to be ready for the challenge of elite talent and Miesha Tate did enough to keep her name in the Ronda Rousey Challenger Sweepstakes (a raffle she seems to keep winning).

Let’s play.

Miesha Tate vs. Bethe Correia

Despite winning her past three, Tate would still have trouble warranting another title shot as long as Rousey still holds the belt. This fight makes sense for the purpose of giving Tate another top-10 ranked opponent added to her resume if she ever wants another chance to swipe the gold from Rousey.

Correia is 9-0 but has yet to challenge anybody inside the top 10. This could be an example of a fighter being fed to the wolves early in their career, but I think Correia would present an interesting test for Tate and could even pull off the upset.

Al Iaquinta vs. Edson Barboza

It’s always an exciting time in the division when you could find yourselves in the position to watch two rising stars compete in order to reach the next tier of the sport. Iaquinta dominated Joe Lauzon and has won three in a row. Barboza bounced back from a loss to Donald Cerrone by picking up two wins of his own.

The interesting reason to watch this fight would be because it would be like watching lightweight versions of Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva. The winner of this would definitely be on his path to a title shot by the end of 2016.

Anderson Silva vs. Gegard Mousasi

This matchup might be my favorite hypothetical fight that I’ve ever made. Styles make fights and both Silva and Mousasi have two of the most diverse and elite striking games to ever be seen in MMA.

Both of them are coming off wins, but still fall in that range of being one good win away from a title shot. Until Belfort vs. Weidman actually happens, we’ll see what the recovery time for Silva will be again. Mousasi, despite some believing his title finish over Dan Henderson was an early stoppage, still looked fantastic and nobody would turn down the bout proposal. It would be a blast to watch while we wait on the health of Weidman.

 

About The Author

Blane Ferguson
Associate Editor/Senior Staff Writer

Blane can trace his MMA roots, like many others, to the finale of the first Ultimate Fighter season between Stephan Bonnar and Forrest Griffin. After watching that incredible fight and cleaning the local Blockbuster of any recorded UFC pay-per-views they had, Blane was hooked on watching the sport and he carried that passion with him to the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. Blane is a four-year broadcasting veteran of ASU's campus radio including a founder and co-host of the station's combat sports show, The Final Round.