September 23, 2008
Just when you think a fighter is unstoppable someone comes along to upset the applecart. That Anderson Silva cart flipper doesn't appear to be under contract with the promotion right now. The best candidates look like Demian Maia, Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt and Paulo Filho. Henderson and Marquardt already lost in their first attempts at Silva and Filho doesn't want to fight his friend. Beyond that the UFC is thin on big threats to Silva's reign.
The next wave of real tests for the guy many consider MMA's best pound-for-pound were fighting in Japan this morning. The Dream 6 Middleweight Grand Prix featured at least five guys I'd like to see matchup against Silva.
Topping the list was the winner of the tournament, 23-year old Gegard Mousasi. He beat three of the top fighters in the weight class, two this morning, to take the title. He started by pulling off the upset against one of the pre-tournament favorites Denis Kang (VIDEO) back in April. This morning Mousasi took out stand-up specialist Melvin Manhoef (VIDEO) in the first round with a triangle choke. He was a sizable underdog again in the final against Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza. Mousasi showed his versatility by knocking out Jacare with a vicious upkick (VIDEO) to win the tournament.
The UFC really has to beef up its middleweight division to stem the ridiculous retirement talk coming from Silva. There are too many good fighters internationally who can test the 'Spider' for him to be getting bored. Jacare, Kang and Mousasi would pose threats with their abilities to submit on the ground. Mousasi is dual-threat with his stand-up background. He's also a good size middleweight fighting in the past at 200-plus. Manhoef's striking is dangerous making a Silva matchup intriguing.
Make sure to watch the video of Mousasi.
He did a great job cinching on a body lock that completely stymied Manhoef before the eventual finishing choke. Mousasi showed some brilliant defense on his back against both Kang and Jacare before he won those battles. He's won 11 straight fights to move to 24-2 with 22 finishes.
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