"When Alexander the Great saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer."
Saturday night in the main event at UFC on FX 7, had Michael Bisping beaten Belfort in Brazil, he would have earned a shot at Anderson the Great. But Bisping lost, and the man who beat him will not get a title shot, as Belfort lost to Silva in 2011, definitively. Belfort didn't even ask for it; instead he fiercely shouted for a rematch with Jon Jones. But that is another story.
So who is next for UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva?
(+) Weidman is the #1 contender by most accounts.
(-) Weidman is recovering from surgery with an anticipated mid 2012 return; Summer however is when Silva said he wants to fight again. Weidman yet lacks name recogntion sufficient to excite Silva, who retains the power to just say no.
(+) Strikeforce middleweight champion; bout would be billed as champion vs. champion.
(-) Not widely known to the general UFC fan base. Might be best for him to have a UFC fight first.
(+) Massive name recognition. Fights Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156 on Feb. 2, and might drop to 185 thereafter.
(-) Started in the UFC at Heavyweight. If he beats Lil Nog, can he make 185?
(+) Had an unparalleled 28 fight win streak.
(-) Lost to Tim Boetsch, who in turn lost his next fight, to Costas Philippou. Fights Yushin Okami at UFC on FUEL TV 8, and will likely have to win one or two more to qualify.
(-) GSP has to beat Nick Diaz at UFC 158 in March first, and then move up a division, a move he says would be permanent.
(+) SUPER SUPERFIGHT
(-) Silva don't want to.
A light heavyweight
(+) Silva has moved up to light heavyweight before for fan pleasing paydays.
(-) Silva's legacy is at Middleweight.
(+) Sonnen doubtless thinks a rubbermatch is in order, once he gets by Jon Jones.
(-) Winning every second of every round until you don't is not a W.
(--) Jon Jones.
So who does Silva fight next? The Spider summed it up best on the UFC on FX 7 post-fight show on FUEL TV.
Although he has said repeatedly he wants a superfight with GSP, when asked Saturday, Silva honestly replied "I don't know."
UFC president Dana White knows what he wants - a GSP vs. Silva superfight at Middleweight on PPV in July from Vegas or even Cowboys Stadium.
The UG wants a fight this Summer with Weidman, and dreams of a Jon Jones super superfight.
Who do you think Anderson the Great will fight next? And who do you want?