With his match against Chuck up in smoke for the upteenth time, it looks like Wanderlei Silva has decided to accept it and move on:
On his official site, Wanderlei Silva declared his desire to take on the man to defeat his friend and former training partner: “I would like, with the last event in mind and wanting to avenge my friend, to fight this Forrest Griffin. I think his would be a good name for me,” said Wand.
That fight is not likely to happen any time soon since Forrest Griffin is likely out of action until next year to heal the crater in his forehead. So who the hell is Wanderlei going to fight? Let’s get comprehensive and look at every fighter included in that cool Light Heavyweight thing they did for UFC 76:
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- Chuck Liddell: Wow, wouldn’t that be nice? I wouldn’t mind seeing that one. It would be keen. And hey, for all of the signs pointing to the opposite, there’s always a chance this fight could still happen. After all, who knows what would happen if Chuck put his foot down and demand he gets this fight?
- Matt Hamill : Out for knee surgery until next year
- Alessio Sakara : Yeah right.
- Kazuhiro Nakamura : Turfed for smoking the turf
- Rashad Evans : The only way Rashad would be free to fight Wanderlei is if Tito bounces on UFC 78. So I suppose it’s possible, and even makes sense if the UFC’s in a pinch for a headlining fight.
- Dan Henderson : He already fought Wanderlei earlier this year and twice in his career. A rematch is going to happen sooner or later, but later is more likely than sooner.
- Stephan Bonnar : This would continue the fine tradition of the UFC feeding TUF fighters to incoming talent. If the UFC wants to build Wanderlei up rather than drop him right into the fray, Bonnar would be a good choice.
- Tito Ortiz : As mentioned on this site, Tito said on Saturday that he’s fighting either Wand or Rashad. The fact that Henderson vs Ortiz was even floated by UFC brass proves they’re not too hot on having Tito vs Rashad headline UFC 78. So Wanderlei Silva fits very well into the headlining spot across from Tito. Also, Tito has a win over Silva from way way back at UFC25.
- Houston Alexander : If Houston had one more devastating win under his belt, and Wanderlei had one dominant win in the Octagon, this one would make sense. As it is, I don’t see the UFC throwing this fight down just yet … it has the potential for big bucks down the road.
- Lyoto Machida : Machida has the talent to make even the best fighter look unimpressive. I honestly don’t think the UFC has figured out what the hell to do with him yet. Well they know one thing : keep him away from the guys they’re trying to build up.
- Michael Bisping : So long as the UFC continues to push into the UK with him as the sole figurehead, you won’t see Zuffa stacking him against someone like Wanderlei any time soon.
- Keith Jardine : Chuck was supposed to get Wanderlei when he beat Jardine, so does this mean Jardine gets Wanderlei now? It’s a matchup that makes sense from that point of view, but doesn’t really set the world on fire.
- Mauricio Rua : Out till 2008 with a knee injury, plus him and Silva are best buds. So put this one in the ‘it’ll never happen’ column.
- Quinton Jackson : He’s out till 2008 with a hand injury.
So there you go: the entire LHW division laid out. And what should you take away from this? I dunno. Who’s to know what goes on in the minds of Joe Silva and Dana White. Sometimes they give the fans exactly what they want but other times you have to wonder what the fuck they’re smoking. To me, Tito vs Wanderlei makes the most sense. It saves the UFC 78 PPV and there’s a history between the two. After that I have to hope Chuck has the balls to pull a diva and demand Wanderlei Silva. If neither of those two possibilities occur, then we’re gonna see Jardine vs Wanderlei on NYE. Blah.