Now that Anderson Silva has cleaned out the middleweight division multiple times over, the debate rages on as to whether or not there’s anyone in the division that has the ability to stop him.

There are bright young stars on the verge of being ready for title contention. The winner of the Chris Weidman and Mark Munoz fight tonight will certainly take a step in the right direction,as will the Tim Boetsch vs. Hector Lombard victor. However, there is no one currently in the division that is ready for a crack at Silva.

The best alternative is Rashad Evans. The former light heavyweight champ lacks the size to truly compete with the Jon Jones’s of the world anymore. At 5-foot-11, he’s much better suited to compete at the highest level of the middleweight division. The only question that remains to be seen is whether or not the Blackzilian fighter could actually make the 185-pound weight limit.

Evans is one of only three men to take Jones to decision and the only one to do so in the last three plus years. Losses to the current champ and Lyoto Machida, along with a draw with Tito Ortiz, are the only blemishes on “Suga’s” professional record. He has defeated the likes of Ortiz, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. He made up-and-comer Phil Davis look like an amateur in a lopsided decision victory. It would appear the only thing stopping him from being a legitimate threat at middleweight would be the weight issue.

There’s an easy solution for that. If the Michigan State alum truly feels he can contend with Silva, make him go through a trial weight cut—out of competition—and see if he can actually cut the weight. Although he’s a relatively short light heavyweight, he’s got a muscular frame that could make it difficult. Should he make the weight to the UFC brass’ approval, set up the fight.

Evans is quick, agile and has heavy hands—evidenced by his KO’s of Liddell, Ortiz and Griffin. He has great wrestling, something that seems to be an issue for Silva, and last, but certainly not least, he can talk almost as good of a game as Chael Sonnen. Evans would certainly waste no time hyping a fight with the current middleweight champ, and we all saw how that panned out for the UFC the last time—record gate, a ton of pay-per-view buys and mainstream media attention.

Yes, the middleweight division has a plethora of up-and-comers, but there’s none that appear to be truly ready for a shot at the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. Rather than rushing these guys, throwing Evans into the lion’s den will not only be a great way to allow the young guns to gain a bit more experience, but it will provide Silva with a legitimate threat—something only Sonnen has been able to do thus far.

Add a little “Suga” to Silva’s spice inside the cage, and it’s a match made in heaven for the UFC and its fans.

Photo: Rashad Evans (James Law/Heavy MMA)

About The Author

Paige Berger

Relatively new to the sport of MMA, Paige is a life long athlete. She attended the National Sports Academy in Lake Placid, N.Y., where she was a pioneer member of the women's ice hockey program. She also excelled in softball and soccer before deciding to focus on hockey. Born and raised in New York, she is an avid Yankees fan. Currently residing in Las Vegas, a move she made after falling in love with MMA while training at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, Calif., she is currently studying public relations and advertising at UNLV.

  • I agree wholeheartedly! Especially if Weidman is the winner tonight I just don’t see him being well-rounded enough to deal with the striking of Silva. Munoz has the best chance in the division, but Evans makes the most sense from all sides of the equation. And it would be an AWESOME fight.