After breaking out of his slump at UFC 84, one of the bigger questions in upcoming fight pairings has been who will Wanderlei Silva be fighting next? Wanderlei was allegedly offered a fight against Brandon Vera at Ultimate Fight Night 14 on July 19, but turned it down due to inadequate time to prepare. The two other heavily rumored names have been Lyoto Machida and Thiago Silva.
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Wanderlei was given the choice between the two, and he apparently chose Thiago. The bout is believed to be taking place in October, presumably at UFC 89, which scheduled to take place in Birmingham, England on the 18th.
Silva vs Silva would be a great matchup, and would likely get Wanderlei very close to a title shot if he were to defeat the younger Brazilian. While Wanderlei certainly has the edge in experience, this would be by no means a gimme for the former PRIDE Middleweight Champion. Thiago is similar to Wanderlei in the fact that he has solid striking skills and great Jiu-Jitsu. Wanderlei certainly has the edge in intensity and aggression, but Thiago isn’t quite what you would call a laid back fighter either. It would be Thiago’s toughest test to date and a victory would certainly propel him near the top of the heap in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.