Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE
Michael Bisping failed to solidify his place as the top contender in the UFC middleweight division when he fell to Vitor Belfort in the main event at UFC on FX 7. The No. 1 contenders spot was Bisping's for the taking, but now that he has lost, the division's champion, Anderson Silva, has no idea who he will face next.
In the span of two Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events, the organization has gone from having a handful of potential middleweight title challengers to next to none.
Recent losses by Alan Belcher, Tim Boetsch and most recently Michael Bisping have thinned out the division in a big way, especially with perennial contender Chris Weidman benched with an injury until the mid-way point of this 2013.
Bisping was said to be the next No. 1 contender to Anderson Silva's UFC middleweight crown if he got by Vitor Belfort in the main event of UFC on FX 7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, but one swift head kick from "The Phenom" shattered those plans and sent Bisping plummeting back down the rankings.
With "The Count" now out of the title picture, Belfort unlikely to receive a second title shot after losing to "The Spider" only four fights ago, Hector Lombard booked to face Yushin Okami and Weidman injured, the reigning 185-pound kingpin has no idea what the future has in store for him.
"I don't know (what's next)," Silva said on the UFC on FX 7 post-fight show on FUEL TV. "I need to talk to Dana (White) and Lorenzo (Fertitta)."
Despite having minimal options in the weight class where he resides as champion, there is always the possibility Silva could move up to 205-pounds, where he has competed and won three times over the course of his UFC career. There is also the possibility of Silva shedding some weight to finally meet Georges St-Pierre in a catchweight super fight.
Silva said on the post-fight show that he is aiming for a return to the cage around summertime. He also discussed his 10-fight UFC contract extension, which he revealed isn't a done deal quite yet.
"No for now," he said. "This is not real, but I'll go for my next conversation with Dana and Lorenzo. But, maybe. Maybe!"
It's anyone's guess what could unfold between now and the Brazilian's next appearance inside the Octagon, but if Silva is still without an opponent in the summer, Weidman wants a piece of the champ.
"Ill be back in summer and that's when Anderson wanted to fight..coincidence? I think not : )," The 28-year-old wrote on his official Twitter account after the event.
With Silva holding essentially every record possible in the UFC and looking nearly untouchable inside the Octagon, fans want to see him challenged. A task that after the recent string of events seems as difficult as ever.
For complete UFC on FX 7 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.