Five possible opponents for Anderson Silva’s next fight at 205 pounds

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Anderson Silva

Five possible light heavyweight opponents for UFC middleweight champion

UFC Middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva took a chance and moved up to light heavyweight for the third time in his career to face Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar at UFC 153, in his home country of Brazil.

Despite facing a bigger opponent, Silva scored an impressive first-round TKO over Bonnar, extended his UFC record to 16-0 and making his overall career record of 33-4.

Prior to his victory over the American Psycho, Silva’s past two ventures into light heavyweight have proven successful. In 2008 he scored a first-round knockout over former WEC Heavyweight champion James “Sandman” Irvin.

In 2009, he knocked out former UFC Light Heavyweight champion and Ultimate Fighter winner Forrest Griffin.

While there talk of Silva facing UFC Welterweight champion Georges “Rush” St-Pierre in a catch weight fight sometime in 2013, several critics have said that Silva should move up to the 205 pound division, climb the rankings and eventually get a shot at the light heavyweight championship.

Other than the fight with St-Pierre, which could be in jeopardy if St-Pierre loses the unification title fight against UFC Interim Welterweight champion Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit in November, there have been no announcements concerning Silva’s next opponent.

Here are five possible opponents for the Spider should he decide to once again fight at light heavyweight.

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Rashad Evans

"Suga" Rashad Evans

Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion and “Ultimate Fighter Season 2” heavyweight winner Rashad Evans voiced his desire to face Anderson Silva after Silva defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 148.

Whether the fight is at 205 pounds or the former light heavyweight champion drops to middleweight, Evans has the experience and technique that could prove trouble to Silva.

Although Silva may have trouble against grapplers, his striking could be more than a match for Evans.

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Glover Teixeira

Glover Teixeira

One fighter who could match Anderson Silva for striking in the light heavyweight division is Glover Teixeira. Teixeira also comes from a good camp, training with former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, Liddell's coach John Hackleman and vale tudo legend Marco Ruas

Teixeira also has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, which could help him if Silva were to take the fight to the ground.

Many are saying Teixeira could be a threat to UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones. He could certainly be considered a contender for the title if he were to defeat Silva.

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Phil Davis

"Mr. Wonderful" Phil Davis

Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis is coming one of the best wrestlers in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. In his rematch against Wagner Prado, Davis was able to apply an anaconda choke on Prado, who was forced to tap.

Davis, whose only loss was against former UFC champion Rashad Evans, could be a good test for Anderson Silva if Silva decides he wants to pursue the UFC light heavyweight title.

Davis has beaten also Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, which could give Silva motivation to fight Mr. Wonderful and avenge his teammate.

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Mauricio Rua

"Shogun" Rua
Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE

Mauricio Rua and Anderson Silva had similar beginnings in the sport. Both fighters started their careers in the Brazilian circuit and both fighters had trained with Chute Boxe Academy. Although Rua stayed with Chute Boxe, Silva would leave the gym and move on to train with Team Black House.

Both fighters have great striking, Rua with his berserker style while Silva is known for being quick and graceful on his feet.

They have also achieved success in their careers. Although Rua’s fight game may be on a decline, a match against Silva would be a treat for fans.

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Jon Jones

Jon "Bones" Jones
Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE

Like Anderson Silva, UFC Light Heavyweight champion Jon Jones has been on a tear in the octagon, defeating the best fighters the 205-pound division has to offer. If there is anyone who has a chance of defeating Jones it is Silva.

Both fighters are elusive strikers on the feet, however Jones’s wrestling ability could give him the advantage over Silva.

Silva has said he would never fight Jones out of respect while UFC President Dana White has said he could convince Silva to take the fight.

Who do you think Silva should face next if he fights again at 205 pounds? Answer with a comment below or send a tweet to @alstover with the hashtag #RantMMA