Browsing all articles tagged with Mark Munoz
Sep
21

Anderson Silva’s Last Four Fights

After defending his title for a record 10 consecutive times it appears UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva is out of legitimate contenders to his throne. After all, he’s beat seemingly every top middleweight in the sport and two of them he’s beat twice.  But he’s not quite out of matchups. Here are four fights fans can enjoy watching and that would challenge Silva.

Chris Weidman

Undefeated and in both MMA and the UFC, Weidman is the most obvious choice for a match against Silva.  He also has probably the most dangerous style to match against Silva. With great wrestling and submission skills and a relentless work rate Weidman is a killer in top position. If Weidman could get Silva down he could submit him. Of course, just as easily “The Spider” could pull off a submission from the bottom.

Michael Bisping

Bisping always seems to pull up just short of a title shot, but he has enough of a resume built up that if the UFC gave him a title shot tomorrow it wouldn’t be surprising. Or even undeserving. A well-rounded fighter, he’s the one man in the division I can see outpointing the champ in a decision victory. Of course while he’s a good striker, muay thai practitioner, and ju-jitsu artist, Silva’s better at all three of those things.

Mark Munoz

Munoz was likely one win away from a title shot before being brutally beatdown by the aforementioned Weidman. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve a fight with the champ and won’t get one. Munoz came into the Weidman fight looking vastly overconfident and underprepared. He won’t make that mistake with Silva. Munoz can’t match “the Spider” in the standup or submission game, but he has some of the most lethal ground-and-pound in the division. If he can walk through some heavy shots and use his superior wrestling to get  top position he can start his “Donkey Kong” attack. Seeing Silva get out of that would be one hell of a fight.

Jon Jones/Georges St-Pierre

Either match would be a great swansong for Silva. The fight between welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre and Silva seems like more a reality right now, if you can believe Dana White. Logistically though, a fight between Silva and light heavyweight title holder Jon Jones makes more sense. GSP has a backlog of challengers to his welterweight throne, while both Silva and Jones are running out of possible matches in their division.

In pure physical sense Silva vs. Jones is a better matchup than Jones vs. St-Pierre. Silva is closer to Jones in body size than he is to GSP; he has fought at light heavyweight and GSP has only ever fought at welterweight. St-Pierre would have to put on quite a bit of weight to make 185 pounds which would make him slower. All Silva has to do to make light heavyweight is cut less weight. As a fan I would love to see Silva fight both GSP and Jones. But if it’s a choice between a catchweight fight with GSP and a title fight at 205 with Jones, I’ll take the title fight.

If Silva vs. Jones came to fruition it could be a classic. Their styles and strengths are very similar with a few exceptions. In a straight kickboxing match it’s impossible to say who would win, they are both such creative, quick, and accurate strikers. In the clinch I think Silva has the clear advantage. Jones main plus is his better wrestling skills. Jones probably wants to be in top position where he’ll hope his offensive ju-jitsu is better than Silva’s defensive ju-jitsu. Jones could use his length and his wrestling skills to score points and keep the fight where he wants it. But Silva is still very quick, and can strike from seemingly anywhere and end a fight in an instant. Of course so can Jones. That’s why this would be an amazing match up.

If Silva ended up fighting St-Pierre instead it would also be a dream matchup. The two best fighters of their generation going against each other? Arguably the two best pound-for-pound fighters of all time? GSP’s clear advantage would be his wrestling. He would have to use his added bulk to wrestle Silva to the ground and work from top position. Unfortunately, the added bulk would likely give Silva a standup advantage. Silva would want to keep it standing, using his kicks to keep his distance from St-Pierre and negate takedown attempts. Silva could also try to clinch when GSP goes for takedowns and utilize his brutal muay thai knees. This could be an incredibly interesting matchup because GSP is a very calculated fighter who comes into each fight with a specific game plan, while Silva seems to let fights go where they go. St-Pierre strategizes his entire fights around his opponent’s weaknesses while Silva waits until he spots an opening to attack. It could be one of the best fights ever. Of course, it could also be a bit a dud (Like the Matt Hughes-Royce Gracie fight).

So the situation isn’t as dire as the MMA community may think. There may be some other middleweights who emerge as serious contenders in the next year or two as well. But if that doesn’t happen and neither does a superfight between Jones or St. Pierre, give another shot to Sonnen. Or let Tim Boetsch have a crack at it. Even if one of those guys get dominated, they’ll make it entertaining.