The big question coming out of UFC on FX 7 is who the UFC middleweight champion will defend his belt against next, now that Michael Bisping lost in his title eliminator fight by KO to Vitor Belfort. So is often the case when a fight is only a number-one contender fight for one of the fighters. Other notable contenders falling to the back of the line recently include Tim Boetsch, who lost to Costa Phillipou, and Alan Belcher, who lost to Yushin Okami, both of which at UFC 155. So the only top-six or so middleweight left coming off a win at all is Chris Weidman, who is out until summer. Luke Rockhold is trying to pick his next fight, already calling out Phillipou and now Belfort. But Anderson turned down Weidman because he lacked name recognition, and at this late stage in his career, Anderson is looking to fight famous, well-known fighters, in as a big a fight as can be drummed up.
Weidman, and Rockhold may both be worthy challengers, but their newness to the forefront of the 185 division is a problem. But why wouldn’t Anderson Silva just want to defend his title against the most worthy available middleweight? Because he’s old, that’s why. Most fighters get to a stage where they start to guard their fights a little more closely, and Silva is at that stage. He’s about to turn 38, an age where most fighters are either retired or losing.
We should forget about bringing in fighters from other divisions, like Rashad Evans. The only non-middleweights who should even be considered are GSP and Bones Jones. Both of whom have a fight, leaving Silva to sit out, and waste more time not fighting. When asking who he should fight next, lets quickly look at who he last fought. It was Stephan Bonnar, a retired light heavyweight, who was offered the fight when the original headliners pulled out with injuries. So Stephan Bonnar was good enough to fight Anderson Silva, under the right circumstances. I now ask, why isn’t Cung Le?
The immediate response to why Cung should NOT get the fight would be what? That the fight wouldn’t be competitve? I would then ask what fight would? Given the available talent pool. Anderson want’s a well known fighter, well Cung Le is a movie star, who just won the main event of the first UFC in China, by knockout, of a former UFC champion, who himself was worthy of two fights with Silva. Why not give Cung Le the shot? Cung Le is deserving of the same chance at glory that was given to Stephan Bonnar. Cung is going to be turning 41 this year. He is a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, coming off a finish in a UFC main event, oh and it was in the same weight division as the champion. Of all the potential fights for Anderson, Cung Le is what makes the most sense.