UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva defeated Yushin Okami Saturday night at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In dispatching Okami, Silva recorded his 14th-straight victory in the UFC, a record for the sport’s top promotion.
Maybe more prominent in Silva’s mind was finally getting the opportunity to avenge the last loss on his record dating back to a 2006 bout in which he was disqualified after illegally kicking Okami. It took Silva (31-4-1) only two minutes into the second round to finalize Okami (26-6) with his trademark striking, successfully defending his UFC title for a record nine-straight fights.
Okami, winner of his past three contests, had his back against the cage for the majority of the seven minutes of combat that took place in Silva’s home country of Brazil. UFC 134 was the organization’s first venture back to the South American MMA hotbed since 1998.
With his victory Saturday night, Silva has essentially wiped out all meaningful challengers to his 185-pound belt. Buzz will certainly begin to circulate as to who Silva’s next match will be against.
At middleweight, Silva could wait for the winner of the upcoming fight between Chael Sonnen and rising star Brain Stann on Oct. 8. A re-match with Sonnen would generate considerable amount of interest after Sonnen nearly defeated “The Spider” a year ago before being submitted in the waning seconds of the fifth round. The only other reasonable option at 185 would be “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Mark Munoz who has won his last three fights. Munoz, though, will probably have to notch one more top-flight victory before earning a title fight.
Fans, no doubt, will be clamoring once again for a super fight between Silva and Georges St. Pierre. The match-up would be the highest grossing affair the UFC could possibly hope for. Although the fight would crown the best pound-for-pound MMA fighter, standing in the way is St. Pierre’s reluctance to jump from welterweight up to middleweight.
One last option is for Silva to abandon the 185-class and take his past flirtations at light heavyweight to the next level. If he does, he would most likely by-pass any tune-up fights and go straight for the belt. A title fight at 205 for Silva would have to wait, however, until top-contender Rashad Evans gets his fight against the winner between current champion Jon Jones and Rampage Jackson’s bout at UFC 135 on Sept. 24.