There are simply no fights left for Anderson Silva in the UFC middleweight division. Sure, there are some legitimate fighters there, but he has legitimately cleaned out the division. Prior to last nights UFC 97 main event, I along with everyone else thought that someone with a legitimate ground game posed the largest threat to Anderson Silva. Wrong. Thales Leites shot in on Silva last night and took him down with a very powerful takedown in the second round while both were still pretty fresh. He had half guard for about as long as it takes a horny teenage boy to get hard while thinking about Jessica Alba naked. Then Anderson Silva stifled him and got back up to his feet. Silva has been under the suffocating lay and pray of Dan Henderson for about half a round, only to suffer no real damage.
The casual fans of the sport clearly want to see the devasting stand up skills that Anderson Silva possesses. I want to see them, and believe you me I love myself some good ground game action. But, there is no better division in which to showcase those skills than the UFC light heavyweight division. It is completely flooded with very good strikers such as:
At this point, I almost get the feeling that it's not even about the possibility of him losing anymore to build a fight. I think the most important thing for him and the UFC is for him to be involved in good fights throughout the rest of his UFC contract. You may ask what about fighters like Demian Maia, Yushin Okami, and others that many think deserve a shot at Anderson Silva. In my opinion, last night's fight against Thales Leites was a snapshot of how Demian Maia would do against Anderson Silva. While Maia possesses ungodly BJJ, his standup skills are probably not as good as Leites. I know Maia loves to pull guard to get the fight to the ground, but last night Silva showed that he will not fight to his opponents strengths. During his last two fights, Silva looks like he's uninterested and just sparring out there with his opponents. It's time for him to get in there with some of the big boys of the UFC light heavyweight division.