5 possible opponents for Anderson Silva's UFC return
Despite the drug test that he failed in the build-up to what would’ve been a main event slot against Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 122 last November being his second during his UFC tenure, legendary former UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva has now been cleared by USADA – who blamed the failed test on a contaminated supplement – and after a year’s suspension, he’s eligible to fight again in two months' time.
Given Silva is now 43 years old and has won just one fight since 2013, there would be plenty of fans who would argue that he shouldn’t be stepping into the Octagon again at all – that he should simply retire and ride into the sunset – but reports suggest that ‘The Spider’ wants to resume his active career.
With that in mind, who should Silva fight upon his return to the Octagon? Here are 5 possible suggestions.
#1: Georges St-Pierre
Back in 2009/10, a Superfight between Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre was something that every MMA fan wanted to see – the two best pound-for-pound fighters in the world facing off – but the UFC were never able to get it signed despite Dana White seeming just as enthusiastic for it as the fans.
The generally accepted reason was that both GSP and Silva were more content to dominate their own divisions – Welterweight and Middleweight – as champions rather than face each other, but almost a decade on that isn’t the case anymore. Both men are now coming towards the end of their careers and St-Pierre has even stated that he’s more interested in fights that would cement his legacy rather than winning UFC titles.
He’s also stated that he’d rather not fight Silva following his positive drug tests, but realistically, it’s a fight that would make both men a lot of money, a fight that plenty of fans would love to see, and for the most part it’d be low risk for GSP – Silva is far more shopworn than the Canadian and would likely be easy pickings for his takedown at this point. Plus, the UFC would now likely be willing to do the fight at a Catchweight, rather than forcing St-Pierre to move up to 185lbs again.
Essentially, it’s a fight that arguably makes more sense now than it did back in 2010. The UFC should throw as much money as it takes to get GSP to sign on for it.