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UFC 82 Live Thoughts & Commentary

I had the opportunity to be live in attendance for last night’s UFC 82 card in Columbus, Ohio, so I’ll be giving you my thoughts on the fights like usual as well as the live experience of the UFC 82 event. Let’s get to it.

UPDATE: Here’s the audio from last night’s Any Given Saturday radio show with Luke Thomas directly after the event. I called in on our way back to give the live report from Columbus.

Who’s left for Anderson Silva?

Did he shock the hell out of everyone last night or what? Even if you picked Silva to win, you couldn’t have thought that it would have been that easy for him. And let’s face it: it was easy. I’ve had the pleasure of watching Silva fight in person twice now. I honestly can tell you that I feel honored to have watched such a dominant fighter dismantle his opponents in such devastating fashion at a time when the sport itself is on an uprise.

Anderson Silva is doing to the competition in the UFC what Tiger Woods is doing to the competition on the PGA Tour. Destroying them. Dan Henderson was the MMA equivalent of Stewart Cink at last week’s Accenture Match Play Championships. Cink lost 8 and 7 to Woods. Dan Henderson got a rear naked slapped on him with ease at the hands of Anderson Silva. After losing the first round, Anderson came out with a fury in the second round. He turned it up about ten notches during the break and thoroughly dominated Henderson in the second. He has the “it” factor. He’s able to take it to a higher level when he needs to and when he does, it’s at a level much higher than that of his opponents. Who’s left for him? Yushin Okami is the only one in the middleweight division. There are always dream matchups like GSP. But realistically, who can beat him right now in the UFC? I don’t have an answer to that question.

Enough with the boos and the heckling already.

This crowd was nowhere near the crowd it was at last year’s UFC 68 event. There was almost zero electricity in the crowd and almost every fight got booed at one point or another. I just don’t understand what some of these fans want. Do you want to see Don Frye vs. Takayama every time two guys fight? That’s not even MMA, folks. If you want to see that, go to your local Toughman Competition.

And to all you Ohio fans, enough with the booing of Anderson Silva. I know we all like Rich Franklin and Silva destroyed his face twice, but he also professed his man-crush for Rich two times now. I think it’s about due time we start giving this dominant champion the respect he deserves when he enters the cage.

What was up with Cheick Kongo’s gameplan?

Taking it to the ground? Did Juanito Ibarra tell Kongo that he had been transformed overnight into a wrestler? Don’t get me wrong, Kongo’s grappling game looked much improved and still needs a ton of work, but he is at his best when he is using his crippling strikes to dominate his opponents on the feet. If Heath Herring wanted a kickboxing battle, and it sounds like he did, Kongo should have rolled with it.

Herring doesn’t have the reach or the technical striking to inflict damage on Kongo and Kongo should have let him have it on the feet instead of trying to inflict damage on the ground. Kongo ended up in some bad positions and also took himself out of some good positions (i.e. having his hooks in on Herring’s back and standing up instead of inflicting damage from a dominant position). Props to Kongo for showing an improved game, but you gotta stick with what brought you to the big dance.

Columbus did not deliver like last year.

They didn’t even make a buzz for Mark Coleman when he got inducted into the Hall of Fame and he is FROM Columbus, Ohio and went to THE Ohio State University. That alone should have whipped them into a frenzy. Perhaps that had something to do with the knowledge of the current UFC fanbase. Many of them don’t know who Mark Coleman is. Or maybe it had something to do with the stands only being half full when he was being inducted. For the love of god, people, he’s the innovator of “ground and pound,” at least clap.

At UFC 68 last year, everyone was in their seats by the time the first fight started. Almost 19,000 people in their seats and ready to go. When the first fight started last night, the place wasn’t even half full. And there were sections of seats still left in the Lower Bowl during the main event. Columbus did not have a good showing tonight. I don’t think it will prevent them from getting another show next year but the UFC will be watching the third show there very closely and with a cautious eye.

Chris Leben is fun to watch.

He’s not going to be threatening Anderson Silva anytime soon, especially with how he leads with his chin and lets his hands fall, but he is very entertaining to watch. He relies on his chin and his heavy hands too much but you can always expect him to go out and slug it out with whoever is on the other side of the Octagon. He’s a great component to their middleweight division because he’s never going to be on top, but puts on exciting fights and is a good litmus test for up and coming middleweights.

Mark Coleman vs. Brock Lesnar in August.

This was a big announcement at the event and the crowd did mark out for Lesnar, so at least they showed they had a pulse. This is an intriguing matchup, certainly better than a fight against Justin McCully. The UFC can really promote a matchup between these two wrestlers and bill it as the “Innovator of Ground and Pound” versus “The Next Generation of Ground and Pound.” I don’t really think Coleman stands too much of a chance because he’s past his prime, but this is a fight that can draw pay per view buys for the UFC.

Two years off proved to be too much for Evan Tanner.

I really do wish the guy well in his comeback but he just didn’t look right last night. He looked in shape but did not look beefed up like he usually does. Coming into the Octagon he sort of had a blank stare on his face and actually looked nervous. Two years’ worth of ring rust was bad news for him and he was no match for Yushin Okami. Okami was the much larger fighter and took advantage of Tanner in the clinch. Now that Tanner’s knocked a bit of the ring rust off, he’ll probably face an easier opponent the next time out.

Stop hatin’ on Jon Fitch.

Everyone’s saying that he’s not ready for a title fight with GSP, he would get destroyed, this and that. Whatever. Whether or not he would beat St. Pierre doesn’t matter. What does matter is that Fitch has earned his way to a title shot by going 8-0 inside the Octagon. Chris Wilson was highly underestimated by many people going into this bout. He is dominant on the feet and he showed that against Fitch.

But Fitch’s game is so well-rounded and so fluid that eventually he overwhelms you with his skill set and his will. It may not be the prettiest thing to watch in the world but it gets the job done. Like I said, he’s now 8-0 in the UFC so he must be doing something right. Wilson put on a great showing for himself and should earn himself a contract with the UFC. Props to Fitch for grinding out a victory over possibly the best replacement that the UFC could have brought in.

Notes from the undercard

I had a chance to see all 10 fights because I was at the event, which is always nice, so here’s some thoughts on the undercard fights.

– I don’t really ever care to see Jake O’Brien fight again. He reminds me of Josh Koscheck two years ago. He is a wrestler who relies on his wrestling and that’s it. Andrei Arlovski’s knees were skinned because he had to stuff so many takedowns. And when O’Brien ended up in a bad position in the mount, he had no answer for it and basically gave up. O’Brien the next big thing? Please. Also, whoever had the “#1 Jake O’Brien Fan” sign, I hope Dana White paid you well.

Josh Koscheck’s win was impressive. And he actually drew heat from the crowd, imagine that. People hate them some Josh Koscheck. It was a really good win for him over a very tough guy in Dustin Hazelett and he finished the fight in exciting fashion with a head kick and then an eventual stoppage due to strikes. Great win for him on his last fight of his contract. He probably made himself some extra cashflow.

Luke Cummo, hit the wrestling mats. He must have been taken down a dozen times in his fight with Fioravanti with no takedown defense to speak of. Fioravanti beat him up on the ground and took him down at will. Disappointing performance from Cummo, who seemed to be on the up and up in the division.

David Bielkheden never stood a chance. When I heard earlier in the week that he hadn’t even seen tape on Diego Sanchez, I knew it would be a thrashing. And it was. Sanchez tore through Bielkheden like he was an amateur, moving from guard, to half guard, and eventually to mount where he made Bielkheden tap due to strikes. Dominating win for Sanchez, one that should give him a much needed boost of confidence. Bielkheden had no answer for him.

Jorge Gurgel got a nice response from the crowd because he fights out of Cincinnati, Ohio. He also put on an entertaining fight and probably put John Halverson out of the UFC. Not a surprising victory for Gurgel, but nothing to suggest that he’s ready for anyone even near the top in the 155 lbs. division.

36 COMMENTS
  • Wang Chung says:

    you know, even though he didn’t connect on some of his strikes last night, he throws them with such deadly intentions. it gives me goose pimples watching him throw head kicks. i don’t think there is much of an argument against him being the undisputed p4p king right now. i think if georges can steamroll serra and fitch he’ll undoubtedly share the #1 spot with silva.
    personally i would looove to see georges fight anderson, however i think anderson is just a little too good for georges standing, has decent enough td defense and is good enough on his back AND has the size advantage that georges would have a tough fight. not saying georges could not beat anderson because if anybody could around that weight class it’s georges. i just don’t think it’s likely with the kind of fighter silva has become. he’s soooo freakin’ deadly and his striking is mesmerizing to me.

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  • Wang Chung says:

    as for fitch…i don’t know if he’s been playing it a little more safe in his last 2 or 3 fights, but i was starting to feel he would be a good fight for georges, but now i’m starting to think he really isn’t on georges level at all. but anything can happen…

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  • robnashville says:

    “Not a surprising victory for Gurgel,”

    any victory for gurgel is a surprising victory

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  • Jo says:

    Silva did say in the post fight interview on UFC.com that he would not want to go up in weight but he may consider dropping weight……Oh our dreams may come true. Silva Vs GSP !!! That would be a great fight and I think GSP would have the over all advantage with better ground game, wrestling and take down defence. Silva did have problems with Hendo on top of him in the 1st. Stand up would most likely be in the favor of Silva but we all know that any fighter can loose on any night. Hence why Serra has the current belt.

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  • Binsu says:

    So from the pool of fighters not just in the UFC but also globally, who can beat Anderson at this weight class, apart from someone landing a flukish lucky punch?

    Dan seemed the best possible matchup, and actually won a round (which I don’t think has happened to Anderson in the UFC). But as Adam wrote, Anderson made him look silly. Many guys can fend off a RNC for awhile, like Urijah Faber in his last fight agains Curran. But Hendo seemed do dazed and wobbled by the time the RNC was applied that he mounted no meaningful defense.

    Seems like Anderson needs to slip a little in his ability before anyone else can catch up.

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  • Ronin says:

    How about How about Ricardo Almeida as Silva’s next opponent?

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Almeida needs a couple more fights before he’s ready for Silva.

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  • ufcfan says:

    whether you like him or not…fact of the matter is that okami is 6-1 in the ufc
    has never been dominated and does (despite how ridiculous it was)
    have a DQ win over Silva.

    I’m sure Silva would like some revenge.

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  • Jaeger says:

    Great job of the show last night Adam. It was nice to hear the truth out of OH.

    NO MORE ANDERSON in OH. We need him in VEGAS coming out Dressed as Michael Jackson Dancing all the way to the ring.

    Mark my words people. Anderson Silva will lose the 185lb strap the second they sign a fight with someone who has no business in the same cage as him. Silva is GSP just waiting to happen.

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  • Hard Ass says:

    Silva made it look easy?? He got worked bad in the first round and was losing the first half of the second round. Hendo got caught with a knee and Silva took advantage. I give Silva credit for sure but I would love to see a rematch! The 185 class is a total joke (so the HW actually) he should jump up to 205. Why not? I heard he walks around at almost 210 when he’s not training. If he’s so good, why does he need to drop to 185? By the way, anyone who puts him in front of Fedor for the best P4P is retarded. Silva (although not many) has flaws. Fedor…..NONE!

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    #9,

    Finishing the fight in the manner he did against the #2 middleweight in the world is the definition of “making it look easy.”

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  • Hard Ass says:

    http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?fighterID=1356

    veiw that link and name me one fighter of who he has fought (other then Franklin or Henderson) that is worth a shit. Before we crown him king and give him constant head, let’s see a few more fights before we put him ahead of St. Pierre or Fedor.

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  • Hard Ass says:

    Oh and I noticed that he has not one, not two, not three but FOUR losses???? One of his losses to a guy that has a 8-14 record??? Yeah, he’s better then Fedor or St. Pierre…….LOL

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  • Hard Ass says:

    Losing a fight and getting a lucky knee in is the definition of “making it look easy.” LOL! I would think what he did against Franklin is a better definition but whatever you say……LOL

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  • glock says:

    First watching from the comfort, of S.Fla., I’d gotta say the fans in Ohio seemed like a bunch of a-holes to the whole planet, with all the booing at every lull in the action. I think maybe everyone entering the arena needs to get punched in face with a 5 oz. glove, or even a 10oz training glove, before they can boo, so they know what they’re booing about.
    Can anyone that was there, tell me if Dan’s corner told him to stop doing what was working in the 1st round??
    Did testosterone get the best of him to to “show” Silva he could stand with him?? With everything that guy has accomplished and learned you’d think he would be capable of formulating and executing a better strategy.
    He needs to get Randy’s playbook and study it… I am SOO disappointed that it wasn’t his night . Don’t get me wrong, Silva is a GREAT Champion and deserves everything he he gets and has gotten, but fuck,I mean Dan the man Henderson tapping with just 8 sec left??
    Maybe I’m just ranting, I know a knee in face changes your plans a bit, but he shoulda gotten it goin for relentless take downs not trying to outstrike the best P4P striker in the game…ffffockkk….

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  • jaydog says:

    Dan should have asked Silva to go best 2 outta 3. That would answer what’s next for the Spider.

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  • Rich says:

    Hard Ass,

    it’s not how many wins he has.. but how he gets those wins.. he pretty much plays w/ his opponents.. and then just flips the “win” switch.. and kills them..

    did you catch the fight w/ Jorge Rivera.. where Anderson LET Jorge punch him in the face while they were in the clinch.. over.. and over.. and over.. and then KTFO’d him??

    oh.. and the 4 losses are in the past..

    he’s a completely better fighter now.. and if he loses again.. it will be a lucky punch.. especially now that Hendo and Franklin are out of the way..

    it’s not the best p4p record in the world.. it’s the best p4p fighter in the world.. and as of now.. that is Anderson Spider Silva..

    ____________________

    and ya..

    i agree that Kongo definately should have stood up w/ Herring..
    that fight totally screwed up the HW division..

    you have Kongo.. who is… make that .. was.. close to a title shot.. losing to Heath Herring.. who.. no matter how good or bad he was in Japan.. isn’t going anywhere in the UFC.. soo.. that just pushes Kongo down a little bit further.. even though.. he is a better fighter than Herring.. and who’s next for Herring?? Gonzaga?? that’s a sub waiting to happen.. Sylvia?? that’s a decision loss waiting to happen.. pretty much.. the only person left in the HW division that Herring could beat.. is Eddie Sanchez.. and then, if he beat Sanchez.. we’d be right back to the predicament we’re in now.. idk.. that fight just kinda screwed things up..

    so what about AA??

    you think he’ll get an offer from the UFC??

    i hope so..

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  • Rich says:

    and ya..

    Tanner is a great, experienced, technical fighter..
    something seemed wrong last night.. like he was sick.. or something..
    you could tell from the beginning he was moving slow.. he didn’t do good in the clinch at all.. and that’s one of his strong points.. he didn’t attempt to take it to the matt once.. which was stupid.. especially after he got knocked silly early on..

    idk.. to see such an amazing fighter fight that poorly..although Okami’s great.. is just weird..

    he must have been sick.. or out of shape.. i mean, you wouldn’t think he would be nervous.. he’s fought some of the biggest names.. in front of the biggest crowds.. and has always kept his cool..

    something was definately wrong last night.. Evan’s next fight should be a total domination..

    and.. Hazelett.. REALLY impressed me.. his stand-up was great last night.. technical punches and kicks.. and pretty good clinch work at times.. it really is a shame he had to go down like that.. because i know he could have sub’d Kos on the ground..

    Hazelett’s gonna be lookin’ good in his next fight.. for sure..

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  • Gong says:

    I think Hard Ass comes from Ohio.
    It’d make a lot of sense.

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  • Gong says:

    His idiocy, I mean.

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  • garth says:

    Anderson’s a legit choice for best P4P fighter no doubt. So is Fedor, based on his complete body of work, not just what-have-you-done-for-me-lately. So is GSP. So, frankly, is BJ Penn.
    Personally I have it Fedor-Silva-Penn-GSP. Urijah Faber is a couple good opponents away.
    I enjoyed the event, I’m totally pissed that I didn’t get to see Andrei’s fight. I suppose I’ll be seeing him soon in EliteXC. I’m betting that M-1 and EliteXC can put together AA vs. Fedor, or Bigfoot Silva vs. Fedor (tho I think Silva would get destroyed right now by Fedor).
    Cheick Kongo Heath Herring was a decent fight. I’m glad I didn’t have to judge it. Koscheck looked great, let’s see Kos vs. the Drew Fickett-Jake Shields winner for the EXC WW belt.

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  • Zane says:

    Adam, don’t even waste your breath on HardAss, it is obvious he is retarded. HardAss, GSP is 2-2 in title fights, Anderson Silva is 5-0. GSP showed that he can be knocked out, Silva never has been. Name one time while in the UFC Silva was close to losing a fight? Do you know anything about Dan Henderson??? The guy took Rampage 5 rounds, and KO’d Wanderlei Silva!! And Silva put him away with a choke in the 2nd round, only the 2nd time Hendo has been finished, and that is not easy? and to say Nate Marquardt aint worth shit further demonstrates how uninformed you are on this sport. Look at some world rankings. And as for your comment of him getting “worked bad in the 1st round” is abolsutely comedic. He got taken down and then held Hendo for 2 mins without letting him do shit, if Silva was “worked bad” he sure didn’t show any signs of it. He popped right up after the round, and then went out and put him away. Your analysis is spot on buddy, keep up the good work.

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  • TCR says:

    Cung Le vs Anderson Silva

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  • matt savage says:

    Well said, Anderson Silva is an elite, Tiger Woods type of competitor, supremely confident in his ability and who thrives on a challenge. He should also step up to 205; the 2 fights I’d be interested to see would be versus Chuck Liddel or someone who can take a lot of punishment in Forrest Griffin.

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  • Jaeger says:

    # 17 Rich

    I think youi underestimate Heath Herring. He is WAY better then you give him credit for. Will he ever be champ??? Probably not, can certainly not while Nog is champ. But don’t fool yourself into thinking Herring is a CAN. Kongo is still a bit of a project, Herring has fought them all. And shy of this latest stint in the UFC Herring has always been competitive and exciting.

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  • Jackyl says:

    Anderson Silva is just the man. No one has looked so perfect since their entrance into the UFC. He just dismantles everyone in his path. I guess Okami would be the next logical challenge at middleweight. But like everyone else I want to see the superfight with Georges St Pierre. Here’s a thought: What if Anderson Silva dropped down to 170lb to fight St Pierre for the title. Just for the sake of argument let’s say he wins. Wouldn’t it be great to see him clean out the welterweight division as well. There’s some great fights there. Matt Hughes, Diego, Karo Parisyan, list goes on and on. I would love to see him hold both belts and continue his reign. Will the UFC let a guy hold two belts and defend them at the same time? If so there is a dynasty waiting to happen.

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  • cyphron says:

    I love Cung Le. But he has to put away Shamrock before he even think about challenging Silva. Cung Le should really be a welterweight. At middleweight, he’s way out of his league.

    There’s no way Silva can drop to 170 (he’s 6’2″). GSP has to move up and that’s a distinct possibility if he cleans out the division. That would sell tickets like crazy.

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  • Jay K. says:

    Did anyone else catch the very poor judging for the Fitch/Wilson bout?

    WTF?

    I suspected at least one retard throwing Fitch a 30-27, but TWO judges? Wilson clearly won the first round decisively and lost the remaining rounds but clearly there needs to be a better standard in place to prevent mistakes like this from happening again.

    Very very poor judging in that fight.

    Over all,

    An excellent fight card with the best fight of the night being Silva vs. Henderson. At this point, people must acknowledge that even the Great Andereson Silva is better than Chuck Norris. I know, I know it’s hard to accept, but people must acknowledge this.

    Jay K.

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  • Jeff says:

    Who’s left for Anderson Silva? No one. Not in his weightclass atleast. Droppin to welter could be interesting, but i think it would be better for his carrer to bump up to Light heavy. I also dont see it being too difficult. Pack on some muscle, hell he just faught a fromer light heavy champ. Tell me Quinton Jackson and Anderson Silva wouldn’t hype you up.

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  • Derek B. says:

    I think maybe in a couple of years Fedors Younger brother Ivan could give Silva a run for his money.

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  • Rich says:

    you guys might need to quit dreaming..
    Silva will not move to WW..
    he’s too heavy..
    he looks small.. but he’s heavy..
    i believe he’s fought LHW before.. so if anything.. he would move to LHW..
    and the only person that could give him problems there would be Rampage.. or maybe a better Shogun..
    POSSIBLY Wandy.. but i doubt it..
    i feel if he fought chuck.. it would look like Silva/Franklin 1 all over again..
    soooo…

    idk..

    Silva might as well just continue to completely dominate the MW division until it finds some new talent.. maybe.. never-before-seen.. or some guys from other organizations..

    and maybe THEN he should expand his conquest.. and move up in weight..

    but as of RIGHT NOW… here are the only possible opponents for Spider at MW:

    Hendo [Rematch]
    Franklin [beacuse Spider respects him sooo dearly.. and he IS a great fighter]
    Marquardt [Rematch]
    Almeida [that’s a huge MAYBE.. he would have to beat some top notch guys.. and pick up a lot more
    wins.. and then could possibly get a shot..]
    Bisping [that would be just to feed Silva someone for the time being..]
    Wandy [if he made the move to MW, and had one, maybe two tune-up fights..]
    __________
    i mean.. that’s it for the UFC’s MW guys..

    now, personally.. i would like to see..

    Silva vs. Ninja
    Silva vs. Lawler
    Silva vs. Mayhem Miller
    Silva vs. Filho [even though i can’t stand him]
    Silva vs. Frank Shamrock [ohhh man, that would be awesome.. the best past {and kinda present } vs.
    the best present..]

    and so on and so forth..

    but, obviously, those guys have different contracts w/ different org.’s.. sooo…

    anyone agree??

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  • Jackyl says:

    One more thought. It wouldn’t be for the title but Silva and Gsp could fight at a catch weight. Say177 or something around there. What about Corey Hill? He’s fighting at 155. I think Silva could cut 15 pounds and still be a handful for anyone at 170. Now going up to 205 would be really interesting. My God, then it opens up to matches against, Rampage, Sokudju, Houston Alexander, Forrest, Bonnar, Machida, Liddell, damn….the list goes on and on. Either way…..he’s done all he needs to do at MW unless Wanderlei drops down.

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  • Rich says:

    “but as of RIGHT NOW… here are the only possible opponents for Spider at MW:”

    i left out Okami..

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  • The House says:

    #31 Rich, I actually just sat here thinking about a dream match of Silva/Shamrock….. it made me think of a fun little survey…. who would win? I mean, the devastating performances of Shamrock from over the years compared to the non-stop demolishing of every opponent in the UFC thus far….. I also like the idea of Silva bumping up to 205. I mean, liddel, Wandy…… Jackson.

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  • Jeff says:

    Dont forget he doesnt have to be 205, just over 185. I would assume he walks around at 195ish. So its possible. As long as he doesnt feel he will be over powered. In my opinion its the next logical step. I think he could beat Bonner, Hamill, Rashad Evans, and maybe even Ortiz. He could still be real good at LH. He would still be able to cut weight and defend his MW title.

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  • Jackyl says:

    All of the above considered, light heavy does seem to be the better option. I would still like to see him fight GSP at that catch weight though.

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