Chael Sonnen, Nate Marquardt, Alan Belcher and Chris Leben are all among the names that have publically lobbied to face the MMA legend. But it seems the most recent man to request Silva may be the one to get the much-desired bout.
Brian Stann is the most likely opponent for Silva upon his return, UFC president Dana White told MMA Fighting.
Though White couldn't offer a specific date for the bout, Silva is expected to be ready to see octagon action in the spring.
Stann (10-3) opened eyes in the middleweight division after a crushing knockout win over Leben in the first round of their UFC 125 bout. The victory made the former WEC light-heavyweight 2-0 as a 185-pounder. Afterward, when asked who he wanted to face next, Stann prefaced his answer by saying he had a deep respect for the man he hoped to step in the cage with.
"I think I'd like to fight Wanderlei [Silva] next," he said then. "He's a guy that I've watched for years. Before I ever put a glove on. He's amazing. He's as tough as they come, as good as they come, and a multiple weight champion. I think I'd like to fight him next, but I'll be prepared for anybody."
Silva's return will come after a layoff of over one year as he recovered from three broken ribs as well as a torn ACL. The 34-year-old Silva (33-10-1, 1 no contest) last fought in February 2010, defeating Michael Bisping by unanimous decision. Months later, he underwent knee surgery.