RIO DE JANEIRO -- As far as UFC president Dana White is concerned, there hasn't been any doubt about where Anderson Silva
stands for some time now. But after Saturday night's destruction of Yushin Okami
at UFC 134
, White said, it should no longer even be a question.
"One thing I want to make clear, and I've been saying this for a long time, this guy is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world," White said of Silva. "There's no debate. You're out of your mind if you don't think this guy is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world. People will say, 'Oh, he needs to be challenged.' The [185-pound] division has a ton of great fighters. The reality is, this guy is so good, he makes it look like it's not."
Former foe Forrest Griffin
had a more succinct way of putting it when discussing who Silva should face next: "I say he fights two guys."
Fighting in front of his countrymen for the first time in his UFC career, the middleweight champion easily dispatched Okami in the second round, and seemed as if he might have even been drawing the fight out to get it to last that long. From the opening minutes of the bout, Okami wasn't much more than target practice for Silva, who eventually dropped him with a punch combo and then finished the woozy challenger with a barrage of strikes on the ground.
For Silva, who had watched the first UFC event in Brazil in 1998, it was a dream come true, he said, and one that would have seemed improbable at best back in the days of the UFC's first foray into South America.
"At that time I practiced other martial arts," Silva said via an interpreter. "I didn't even consider doing mixed martial arts. It was awesome to be able to fight here in Brazil, in front of Brazilian people."
Of course, at this point every Silva fight concludes the same way, and that's with questions about when he might face UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre
As is typical, Silva didn't do much more than make silly faces as potential opponents were mentioned at the post-fight press conference, saying once again that, ideally, he'd like to face his clone in his next fight.
Until the scientific community can make that dream a reality, however, it sounds like White has some other ideas.
"I think there's a couple other fights out there for him at 185 [pounds]," the UFC president said of Silva before admitting that both GSP and the middleweight champ are "getting into a position here where that fight's going to make sense."
If it does materialize soon, the biggest problem, according to White, might be finding the right venue to host the dream fight.
"I honestly believe, there's a couple more fights for Anderson and Georges, and if they both win, I honestly don't know if there's a stadium big enough for that fight."
As for Okami, his future is less certain. The loss against Silva tosses him back into the middle of the UFC's middleweight pack, but that doesn't mean White is ready to take back any of the praise he lavished on him in the lead-up to this bout.
"Yushin Okami -- I said it before the fight and I'll say it again after the fight -- he's one of the best 185-pound fighters in the world and he's the best fighter to come out of Japan," White said in response to a question about whether the UFC would keep Okami on the roster.
But once again, it was Griffin who put things in terms everyone could understand.
"There's a long list of guys who get beat up by Anderson," he said. "If you fire them all, you're not going to have anybody left."