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Rafael Cavalcante’s ideal opponent for Anderson Silva’s return? Daniel Cormier

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UFC 200 photos
Anderson Silva lost a decision to Daniel Cormier at UFC 200.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Who should Anderson Silva fight in his return to the Octagon? For longtime friend and training partner Rafael Cavalcante, “The Spider” should get a rematch with two-weight champion Daniel Cormier.

The former UFC middleweight champion will become eligible to compete on Nov. 10 after successfully proving that a contaminated supplement caused his latest drug test failure, and told MMA Fighting he was hoping to “come back as fast as possible”.

Saying he has three bouts left in his current deal with the UFC and coming off a decision win over Derek Brunson in Feb. 2017, “The Spider” wouldn’t name an ideal opponent for his return, but “Feijao” would choose to see him try to avenge the UFC 200 decision defeat to Cormier.

Cormier was originally booked to meet Jon Jones in Las Vegas at the historic card, but the promotion was forced to pull Jones from the fight two days before the event due to a failed drug test. Silva stepped in to save the day, but lost to DC in a non-title, three-round light heavyweight bout.

”I think the ideal (opponent) would be Cormier,” Cavalcante told MMA Fighting. “He took that fight with no training, not even a day. If it were five rounds, in my opinion, it would have been bad (for Cormier). He’s tough and consistent, of course, but Anderson’s game is complicated and would have been tough for him in five rounds. When he got kicked, he was already worn out after holding Anderson. I believe someone at that level would be a good fight.”

”He’s motivated. He was really angry with this situation and kept training hard,” he continued. “I trained with him one of these days and he’s doing fantastic. I’ve seen him that well just two months before a fight, and he’s that good right now.”

“Feijao” didn’t discuss that idea with Silva, that the UFC star is only “focused on staying in shape” and “is not even thinking about (a specific opponent) now.”

”That’s what he told me,” Cavalcante said, “‘I want to be ready. I won’t get in that mess of who will it be. I’ll be in shape, but I want a fight that is important for me.’ I saw people mentioning (Georges) St-Pierre, but I think that would be a better fight if (GSP) moved up.

”There are several options for him, but he has to be careful because he has a certain age and we’re more subject to injuries, he can’t leave the division and fight at a lighter weight. I don’t think that would be interesting. People will suggest everything now.”

“The Spider” mentioned the highly anticipated clash with St-Pierre as one of the possibilities for the future in a recent interview with MMA Fighting, saying “anything is possible in the UFC.” However, GSP later said he doesn’t think that a fight with the Brazilian “is a win-win situation for me.”

”Of course that he has something to win, everybody knows that,” Cavalcante said. “He doesn’t want that because he doesn’t want to move up in weight.”

”Anderson is a very smart man,” he continued. “I see people criticizing him, that he plays too much, but that’s not playing. He messes up with your head. Everyone who trains with him every day knows that. What people call ‘playing,’ the second you drop your hand you get a 19-inch cut in your face [laughs]. That’s the truth. He loves messing with people’s minds, and it wouldn’t be Anderson Silva if he didn’t do that.”