Since Chael Sonnen called out Anderson Silva to a rematch following his win over Brian Stann at UFC 136 it’s become clear that the Brazilian and his advisors are in no particular hurry to grant him his wish.
In fact in a new interview with Inside MMA this week Silva’s manager Ed Soares states that his fighter would prefer to fight a fresh face rather than someone he’s fought before.
“Our opinion is that we don’t think Chael should get a shot yet,” Soares says. “There’s other guys out there. … I’ve been hearing a bunch of different people. Let someone try that hasn’t fought for the belt yet. Why do we have to keep repeating these fighters? We fought Rich Franklin twice. We’ll probably end up having to fight Chael twice. We’re going to end up fighting probably Dan Henderson twice. It’s just like, it would be nice to see some new faces in there getting a crack at it.”
On that note Soares feels that a certain UK fighter currently coaching The Ultimate Fighter Season 13 could be a good opponent for the champion.
“People talk about Chael and Brian Stann, and sometimes people are focused on the TUF show. But I think Bisping could be a good opportunity,” Soares tells Sherdog.com in a seperate interview, while also adding, “GSP could be a good opportunity.”
Bisping is certainly ‘in the mix’ at this moment in time after producing a three fight winning streak, and a victory over Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller in early December would put him very close to the top spot, but as I’ve stated previously it’s hard to imagine UFC president Dana White opting for anyone other than Sonnen at this stage given the hype surrounding a second encounter between them.
It’s an eventuality that Soares isn’t willing to get to heavily into at this time.
“If Dana wants to put the fight on again, we’ll cross that bridge when it comes.”
Having said that he is well aware of just how big the rematch with Sonnen could be.
“I do think the Chael fight could potentially sell. It could be a big seller. I think it could be a huge pay-per-view. So I see all angles of it, but I’m just expressing what Anderson has talked to me about. That’s how he feels.”
Right now Silva’s main concern is rehabbing from his recent shoulder injury, and according to Soares a Superbowl weekend return for ‘The Spider’ is far from guaranteed at this stage.