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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Before ultimately granting Chael Sonnen his rematch at UFC 148, UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and his camp expressed their feelings that he wasn't worthy of the fight and that they weren't that interested in the bout. Now that Chris Weidman is emerging as his potential next challenger for the title, Silva's camp is again echoing similar sentiments.
"I don't think any opponent in that category is a joke," Silva's manager Ed Soares said in an interview with MMAJunkie.com. "I just think that some of his opponents just aren't as attractive. When I look at Weidman, I think he's a very talented guy. He's got a bright future. But when I look at it, he's 9-0. Anderson has got double the wins he has in his career in the UFC. So I just don't see the value of being able to fight a guy like this right now. That's my opinion."
Soares actually places more value on a third fight with Rich Franklin, the man Silva took the belt from in 2006, and subsequently defeated a second time a year later. With Franklin returning to the middleweight division, Soares believes he's got a better case than some of the other names being floated out there.
"The only guy that Rich Franklin has ever lost to at 185 pounds is Anderson," Soares said. "So when you look at the 185-pound division, he's definitely up in the mix as far as a contender. I think [Silva would] be interested in fighting Franklin again, just simply because he respects Rich a lot, and he feels that Rich was the guy that gave him the opportunity to fight for the belt."
Outside of that, there remains one fight Soares says Silva has been interested in for some time: a super-fight against UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre. Of course, St-Pierre is on the sidelines until November, and has a fight lined up with Carlos Condit already. Still, that's a bout Silva's apparently got on his mind.
"It's not an easy situation," Soares said. "The middleweight division is a little bit complicated right now. But who am I to sit here and say who they should fight? I'm just saying that as far as the biggest fights go, I see a potential fight with Georges St-Pierre being a big fight."
Penick's Analysis: This is just Soares talking and stirring the pot a bit. It's something he likes to do in between fights, and while they're giving this opinion now, they'll ultimately go along with whatever fight the UFC is looking to put together. A fight with Weidman isn't as huge as a bout against Georges St-Pierre, but that GSP fight isn't going to come together anytime soon. St-Pierre has at least two fights lined up at 170 lbs., if not three. If he gets past Condit, he'll have the winner of Martin Kampmann vs. Johny Hendricks, then likely a fight with Nick Diaz if Diaz returns to action after his year-long suspension. The superfight with Silva has simply looked like it will not happen for some time now, so Silva may just need to move on. Of course, they could also just tell Kampmann or Hendricks "too bad," and go with Silva-GSP should St-Pierre defeat Condit.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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