Anderson Silva responds to being called out by Mark Munoz

Mark Munoz took one step closer to challenging for the 185-pound title when he defeated Chris Leben at UFC 138 last Saturday (Nov. 5, 2011) in Birmingham, England.

Following his technical knockout win over "The Crippler," the "Filipino Wrecking Machine" told Joe Rogan during his post-fight interview that he "deserved" the next shot at reigning division champion Anderson Silva.

"I paid my dues in this weight class and I think I deserve a title shot. Anderson Silva is by far the best pound-for-pound fighter. I give him all the respect and honor, but I think I deserve a title shot right now. I consider him a friend, but right now I'd love to get a title shot."

Not coincidentally, Silva considers Munoz a friend as well. So what did "The Spider" tell Brazil's SporTV when they informed him of the challenge?

Have a look.

"I didn't even see it. For me, Munoz was my friend, but that's okay."

Uh-oh.

Munoz spent some time at Blackhouse MMA after working with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira on location. The former collegiate wrestling stud explains the genesis of his relationship in our June interview:

"I was training with Brandon Vera when I didn't have my own gym and Brandon had Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira training at his gym. When I was there, I was rolling with Nogueira and he ended up loving how I rolled and how I did a lot of stuff. He watched me do my circuit training and he asked me about my training, he asked me about how long I'd been doing mixed martial arts. He was impressed and he wanted to train with me a little bit more, which was awesome because I never thought in a million years that I'd ever train with Minotauro Nogueira. I was over at Alliance training center and from then on we built an athletic relationship. Now we're good friends and training partners. From there I met Ed Soares and from him I met Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida, Junior dos Santos and all the guys from Black House. So it's pretty awesome."

Not as awesome as getting a middleweight title fight.

While it's a possibility, it's also far from a lock. Especially with Chael Sonnen rallying the support of the UFC fanbase for a rematch. And let's not forget about Michael Bisping, who wants his crack at the crown with a win over "Mayhem" Miller in December.

But when will Silva be back? He also told SporTV that he was "still recovering" from his shoulder injury and that it "depends on his doctor" when he will return to the Octagon.

He's coming back eventually ... but against who?

Stay tuned.

MMAmania.com correspondent Eduardo Cruz contributed to this report.

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