Where to begin...
People say that Chael is one of the greats and that Maia was an easy win, I guess Sonnen sold himself so well that people forget what Maia did to him in their fight, one of the coolest hip tosses transitioning into a sub I have ever seen. Im not hating on Chael (phenomenal athlete), just saying Maia is damn good as well. As a matter of fact if he beats Fitch in his upcoming fight, thats 3 in a row in a stacked division, which brings me to my next point.
The MW division isnt weak, Silva just makes it look weak because every time a guy gets to the top they look like a kid against him. Heres my point, Dan Henderson left the MW division and is now top 3 in the LHW and Maia left the MW division and is now fighting a guy who is clearly top 4. Oh and these guys according to everyone werent even the best at MW, so how is it that the MW division is weak but people moving to other divisions are doing so well?
Like someone already mentioned, when Anderson fought Leites he was 14-1 with a win over Marquardt, which is a very good record, but Anderson made him look so bad that Leites became a weak opponent, but his record is still 20-4 which is still very good. So Weidman comes in with a 9-0 record and a lot of people here are saying he poses great threat to Anderson, but what do you think will happen when he gets beat via fireball in 30 seconds, a few month later Weidman will become another weak opponent Silva beat out of his weak division.
I really dont see the claim for WW being a stronger division then MW. Lets take a look at GSP's title defenses and you will see that it is very easy to discredit someones challengers after the fact. (I am not hating on GSP, he is a beast. I think both divisions are incredible, just trying to prove a point) Matt Serra - not have to say much more, Dan Hardy - just bailed from a 4 loss streak, BJ Penn - has no business fighting at WW, Josh Kosheck - one dimensional fighter who cant block a jab, Thiago Alves - one dimensional and cant string 2 wins together.
I dont think Kosheck is better than Okami I dont think Fitch is better than Chael I dont think Alves is better than Henderson I dont think Hardy is better than Maia and the list goes on.
Again, really not hating on GSP, but I think that if he was destroying his opponents instead of winning decisions his division would quickly be called weak.
PS I just looked at Rich Franklin's record before he lost to Silva, 22 wins 1 nc 1 loss (to The Dragon Machida) so I think he is very comparable to Hughes, but again he lost in such devastating fashion (twice) that its easy to dismiss him, but hey, he went up to 205 and beat the legend that is Chuck Liddell (sure Liddell was past his prime, but so was Ace)