While UFC middleweight Thales Leites might feel otherwise, the majority of the MMA world has taken to viewing his UFC 97 title bout with champion Anderson Silva as a foregone conclusion.
With no disrespect intended for the challenger, our most recent "Inside MMA"/MMAjunkie.com poll asked that if Silva is indeed destined to defeat Leites, who should be next?
The results were revealed during the latest "Inside MMA" episode, and the answers spread fairly evenly between a number of potential candidates.
The largest percentage of voters -- 30 percent -- felt Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia (10-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) is most deserving of the next opportunity. With four "Submission of the Night" honors in his five UFC wins, many believe Maia can present "The Spider" with a test he has yet to pass.
Former No. 1 contender Yushin Okami (23-4 MMA, 7-1 UFC) -- the last man to beat Silva, albeit under controversial circumstances -- came in second with 22 percent of the vote.
A man who has lost to both Silva and Leites followed closely behind, as Nate Maquardt (28-8-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) earned 20 percent of the vote.
British slugger Michael Bisping (17-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) earned 15 percent of the response, while former middleweight title challenger Dan Henderson (24-7 MMA, 4-2 UFC) received 10 percent of the vote.
Three percent of the voters felt someone other than those top-five candidates deserved the next shot.
The full results of the poll were:
30% -- Demian Maia
22% -- Yushin Okami
20% -- Nate Marquardt
15% -- Michael Bisping
10% -- Dan Henderson
3% -- Other
As always, thanks to all of you who voted, and be sure to vote in our newest poll.