Surging middleweight contender Mark Munoz (12-2) defeated Chris Leben in the main event of UFC 138 last Saturday (Nov. 5) in Birmingham, England, by opening up a huge cut on "The Crippler" and forcing the attending physician to stop the fight.
He also opened up a 185-pound can of worms.
That's because the "Filipino Wrecking Machine," with his victory and subsequent call-out, inserted himself into what has become an increasing fuzzy title chase, where at least three viable contenders have staked their claim to the next shot at reigning division champion Anderson Silva.
Chief among them is middleweight motormouth Chael Sonnen (26-11-1), who sent the mixed martial arts fanbase into a tizzy when he verbally abused "The Spider" in his post-fight speech at UFC 136, an event that saw him return to the win column with a dominating performance over Brian Stann.
There's also Michael Bisping (21-3), who Sergio Hernandez argues could make a case for his spot among the 185-pound elite with a clear-cut victory over Jason Miller at next month's Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 14 Finale. And while "The Count" may be a tough sell among fans, he's already got the vote from Silva's manager Ed Soares.
What's a UFC matchmaker to do?
Perhaps he should listen to the voice of the people, who may often choose with their hearts instead of their heads, but if this is about putting together the fights the fans want to see, then perhaps Joe Silva will take a look at our poll (after the jump) and see for himself.
Who should Anderson Silva defend his title against?
The next UFC middleweight number one contender is:
Mark Munoz. He's a fresh face and a legitimate threat because of his wrestling and dominating top control. (145 votes)
Chael Sonnen. From what we've seen, he may be the only real threat to the Silva empire. (977 votes)
Michael Bisping. But only if he beats "Mayhem" Miller in convincing fashion. (98 votes)
Hey, what about the winner of Vitor Belfort vs. Anthony Johnson? (35 votes)
Hector Lombard is the only man bad enough to beat Silva. (66 votes)
Holland is trolling us with a poll. On a Monday morning no less. (70 votes)
1391 total votes