Among current UFC Middleweights, Rich Franklin
is the only one who can give Silva a fight, imho. As with any of the former champions, a lot depends upon Franklin's mental and emotional fortitude. His win over MacDonald was nicely executed, but I was a little disappointed that he couldn't finish Okami (I think Franklin was disappointed, too, fwiw). I think Silva exposed Franklin's inability to shift gears in the middle of a fight, and it will be interesting to see whether that continues to be a problem in their rematch.
There are some other guys who could seriously test Silva if they joined the division: 1. Dan Henderson.
He says he's staying at 205 lbs, but if he loses to Rampage, I don't think anyone will be surprised to see another "unification fight" at 185. 2. Denis Kang.
To my knowledge, he's still with American Top Team (who have several fighters in the UFC), and hasn't signed with any of the major organizations. 3. Matt Lindland.
In some ways, he's tailor-made to defeat Silva, but I think he's a real long-shot to come back to the UFC. 4. Paulo Filho.
Now that he has the WEC Middleweight Belt, I don't see him coming to the UFC any time soon. 5. Matt Hughes.
Two things would have to happen for Hughes to put his money where his mouth is: Rich Franklin would have to lose his rematch with Silva, and Hughes would have to lose to Matt Serra.
I think it's much too early to say whether Kendall Grove can or will join the top tier of fighters. He isn't even "2nd Tier" yet, imo. He needs to fight - and defeat - Kampmann, Lutter, Martin, Okami, MacDonald, or Marquardt to even be considered a potential contender.
Right now, I think Patrick Cote is right up Grove's alley; he should
win but it's not a given, and it ought to be a good matchup.
Posted by SpiderSilva
The only way Franlin stands a chance is if he improves his ground game because Silva could sub him on the ground with no prob[...]
At the risk of derailing the thread... Where do you get this from? I see nothing to suggest he's vulnerable to a submission. In fact, there's much evidence to the contrary. Franklin kicked the crap out of Jason MacDonald, Ken Shamrock, and Evan Tanner (twice), who have 58 submission victories between them. Franklin has never been submitted, and he has 5 wins by submission hold. None of those guys were on Silva's level at the time they fought Franklin, but that's not news - we already know that Silva is Franklin's toughest opponent, and the biggest "danger zone" is clearly in the stand-up game.
Posted by cmill21
LOL I thought you meant anderson, I was going to say he already killed rich & nate.
Haha. Yeah, I thought the same thing...