(Props: AXS TV Fights)
It’s time to admit to ourselves, once and for all, that Anderson Silva isn’t the kind of champion we’d like him to be. After thoroughly conquering the middleweight division, fans assumed that the logical next step for the Greatest UFC Fighter of All Time would be to take more competitive matches against the elite in the light-heavyweight division. Of course, that’s not happening. Silva clearly has an agenda in the final stage of his career, and it doesn’t involve fighting non-superstars, or 205-pound phenoms who actually have a chance of beating him.
As Silva’s manager Ed Soares reiterates in this clip from Inside MMA, Anderson wants to fight UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre next, at a suggested catchweight of 177.5. And after that…well…Michael Bisping, maybe? The idea that Anderson Silva would fight Jon Jones is immediately dismissed by Soares, and the name Chris Weidman — remember him? the UFC’s actual #1 middleweight contender? — isn’t even mentioned.
Over the weekend, we explained how Michael Bisping’s latest demands for a title shot are, shall we say, a little premature, considering his current one-fight win streak. But we’ve clearly arrived at a new moment in the UFC, where “deserve” ain’t got nothin’ to do with it, and the biggest criteria for booking title fights is short-term profitability.
Bisping is a well-known heel who will obviously create more heat than a soft-spoken up-and-comer. The Count might get his title shot after one more win, or he might get his title shot without one more win, but as long as the Silva camp continues to select opponents with no regard to who’s next in line or what the fans actually want to see, I think we can all start calling Michael Bisping the UFC’s #1 middleweight contender, especially since phrases like “UFC #1 contender” don’t mean shit anymore. God help us.