Silva wants Cung Le fight
Anderson Silva and his camp have stated their disinterest in a fight against Chris Weidman. But a match up against Cung Le appears to be, at least for the moment, who the middleweight champ wants next.
Weidman, who has been angling for a title shot since blasting Mark Munoz with his elbow in his last contest, has long been said to be one of the top contenders to fight the "Spider" for his long held championship. However, Silva's manager Ed Soares spoke with Cage Fanatic, stating that Weidman just isn't the marquee name they are looking for:
"What is there to gain from us to beat him? Really, I mean I ask you what is there for us to beat him? He's going into that fight, most people, the general public are like ‘Oh Anderson is just fighting some guy named Weidman from New York, you know, he's going to walk through him.' So, if he doesn't walk through him, there's really nothing to gain other than another win and money in his pocket, so I think at this point in his career we need to take fights that make sense. And not that Weidman - once again not taking any credibility away from his as a fighter, he's a phenomenal fighter and I think it will be a good match up, but I just think he - he's been out of fighting for a little bit, you know he's been fighting some injuries. You know ask random people that watch the sport and ask them who Chris Weidman is and see what percentage will know who he is."
Like many predicted, Silva is still not sold on the All-American from Long Island, and he may not be too far off with his claim. While Wiedman is undefeated, he still remains unknown to many of the casual MMA fans. He also holds only two notable wins in the division, the first being an underwhelming decision against Demian Maia, and the second being his KO over Munoz back in July. The idea Weidman fighting another contender in before Silva may not be an ill-conceived one, especially considering he would be coming back from an injury.
Soares did throw out one name as a potential opponent for the best fighter in the world:
"(Silva's next fight) is still up in the air man, we don't know who that is, you know? Unfortunately, Bisping lost which was a big thing but, you know, I'm not too sure. I'm not too sure who could be next. I mean, there's a few names out there but I think nothing really stable. There's been a few guys who - you know we want to fight someone who has a little bit of a name, someone that has as big of a name as possible and that's on a winning record or a winning run right now. So, I mean right now it seems like most of the guys with names have had losses very recently. So, when I think about it, like the only thing that comes to mind and I don't even know if that would be a possible fight is, you know, like Cung Le is coming off of three wins or something like that where he's got a little bit of a name, but I mean it's really hard in that division because it's so evenly matched all the opponents on any given day one of those guys can beat each other, so you know, once again whoever the UFC decided we're in."
It's actually not too shocking that Silva's camp would throw Cung Le into the mix for a fight. There is absolutely no denying Cung Le has name value world wide, as he is a movie star and has an exciting style. Where Soares may be off base is in his thinking that Le is more deserving of a title shot than Weidman. Le is, in actuality, on a two fight win streak, not three. However Le's victories are coming of two competitors who are no where near the top of the heap in Patrick Cote and a perhaps past his prime Rich Franklin, while Weidman did in fact at least defeat two opponents who were contenders at the time of their bouts.
In fact, when word got back to Dana White about Silva's interest in Le, the UFC President laughed off the possible fight (Via MMA Mania):
This is typical Anderson Silva-Ed Soares craziness. Every (expletive) time there's a fight. He wants to fight (Demetrious) ‘Mighty Mouse' Johnson, then he wants to (expletive) fight this guy and that guy. This is always the same deal, it always happens. ‘I absolutely will not fight Chael-Sonnen, he doesn't deserve the title and I'm not doing this and I'm not doing that.' This is what we do. We're waiting on something, we'll see if this pans out. When we're ready to announce it, we'll announce it. He will defend his title; it won't be a super fight.
As usual, it seems as though White and matchmaker Joe Silva have their work cut out for them in finding an opponent for Silva. Do they go with someone with name value or someone who has earned the right to challenge for the titile? With a middleweight division that has a short list of contenders, it will be interesting to see the direction the UFC heads with the pound-for-pound best.
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