Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Chael Sonnen (not pictured) during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Who's Next For Silva

Anderson Silva defeated Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, Chris Weidman defeated Mark Munoz in impressive fashion Tuesday on UFC on Fuel TV, but the rest of the middleweight division seems to be in limbo.

Michael Bisping lost to Chael Sonnen at UFC on Fox earlier this year and had to pull out with his bout with Tim Boetsch, Yushin Okami’s stock in the division has taken a huge fall since losses to Silva and Boetsh which leaves only a couple fighters left.

Hector Lombard should be at the top of the list. If he can defeat Boetsch next Saturday at UFC 149, the biggest signing the UFC has made in a while would look to be the facorite for a title shot.

He’s won 23 straight fights and has defeated some UFC veterans. Lombard hasn’t gotten the publicity most fighters get since he’s been in Bellator, but he is a force to be reckoned with.

The other option for Silva is the winner of a possible Weidman-Belcher No. 1 contender bout that would seem to make a lot of sense. Both fighters have been on a tear as of late and have a well rounded enough game to give Silva a fight.

Weidman has solid striking as we saw against Munoz and his jiu-jitsu and wrestling are top notch. He’s relatively green in the octagon, but he’s kicking the door down a title shot. The UFC may want to wait for him to fight a few more times before giving him a title shot, but if he keeps fighting the way he is Weidman may force the UFC’s hand.

Belcher just keeps getting better and better. Many fans forgot about him when he missed some time due to an eye injury, but he’s showing why he was thought so highly of when he came into the UFC. He went toe to toe at Palhares best area when he went leg lock to leg lock at UFC on Fox: Diaz vs. Miller.

He’s not afraid to fight anywhere and has some vicious leg kicks that he would try to use on Silva. I’m not saying he wins the fight, but he definitely would make it interesting.

There are a couple options for Silva right now. They may not be the biggest name opponents, but the UFC has run out of a lot of options. It’s not as if there are competent opponents for Silva either, they just may not be the names fans want. Belcher, Weidman, and Lombard are all solid choices though.

Tags: Alan Belcher Anderson Silva Chris Weidman Hector Lombard UFC

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