Oh what a tangled web we weave in the ever so complex world of MMA. Anderson Silva returns to the octagon on February 27th, at UFC Fight Night 84. This will be a tough test for The Spider in a return bout against Michael “The Count” Bisping. Silva is coming off a unanimous decision win over Nick Diaz (later ruled a NC due to PED use). While Bisping is coming off a split decision win over Thales Leites. With a win on February 27th, what does the future have in store for the former king of the middle weight division?
One can only think of what the future holds for Silva. Prior to booking Ronaldo Souza vs. Vitor Belfort for a May card, it was rumored that Silva may be stepping in the octagon with “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort. During Souza’s UFC 194 media scrum, a reporter asked Souza if he thought it was a good idea for Anderson to take on Belfort. Souza responded, “I think he should fight again before fighting Belfort to get his rhythm back”. So is Anderson even ready for the likes of a top 10 fighter?
Let’s forget the fact that #8 ranked Bisping has had five fights since Silva’s injury loss to Chris Weidman in December 2013. Lets forget that fact that Silva has not fought in almost 14 months. With both of these factors, bookmakers.com still has Silva a -325 favorite and Bisping a +255 underdog. If these odds hold true and Silva is able to top the more active fighter, this could get very interesting for Silva and UFC brass.
Anderson’s training partner, #4 ranked middle weight Ronald Souza, is scheduled to fight #5 ranked Vitor Belfort in May. Middle Weight Champion Luke Rockhold is fulfilling his rematch obligations with former champ Chris Weidman this summer. Number 6 ranked Lyoto Machida is another friend and training partner of Silva, hence the likelihood that they fight is minimal. Number 9 Thales Leites has already been pick off by Bisping. The only top 10 contender remaining is Gregard Mousasi, who battle Thales Leites on the same Fight Night 84 card.
For Anderson to even be considered for a title shot, the stars must align perfectly. He must first hurdle the road block in what is Michael “The Count” Bisping. He must do so in convincing fashion. Meaning, he must finish Bisping or pick him apart for 5 rounds (pre Chris Weidman style). Next, Silva must stay busy. He cannot afford to wait around for the winner of Souza vs. Belfort in May. And he sure can’t wait for Roshold vs. Weidman II, which is not even scheduled yet. “The Spider’s” best bet is to hope for a Mousassi win at UFC Fight Night 84, to put him in his cross hairs. Then we are looking at a 6 man unofficial Middle Weght Title tournament, with Roshold, Weidman, Souza, Belfort, Silva, Mousassi. This would set up a very entertaining last of the year/first of the year notoriously stacked PPV for the UFC Middle Weight Title.
Ironically, if Silva were to lose February 27th, it could be the last time we ever see the future hall of famer competing in the octagon.
Order & stream SILVA vs. BISPING at Fightpass.UFC.tv.