That means we won't be stuck with the obvious mismatch of Silva vs. Thales Leites, but it leaves some pretty big questions hanging out there regarding who will fight on the UFC 95 card and when we'll see Silva in the Octagon again.
For starters, thousands of fans in London bought tickets because they thought they were going to see Silva. The UFC needs to give those fans a good main event if it doesn't want to turn off the British fans it has worked so hard to attract. But what will that main event be? It won't be a title fight, because the champions in the other weight classes are committed to either UFC 92 on December 27 or UFC 94 on January 31. Several of the organization's other big draws, including Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, have said they won't be fighting again that soon. It's going to be tough to find a top-notch main event for UFC 95 without Silva in the fold.
There are also questions about whether the UFC really has a middleweight under contract who can provide a serious challenge to Silva. The Spider is a great fighter who wants great fights, and opponents like his last two -- James Irvin and Patrick Cote -- just aren't challenging enough for him.
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