As Randy Couture might say, Anderson Silva poses some interesting problems. Those problems, however, won't be solved by another fighter in the cage. They'll have to be solved by UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva.
We have quite a few variables at play. One, Silva probably will retire from MMA following the last 3 fights on his contract. At the very least, he will want to explore a boxing match with Roy Jones Jr. Two, he seems to only want big fights. Three, he will not fight Lyoto Machida (or other Black House partners). Four, he wants to take some time off to heal his body.
With the time off and resistance to fighting both Nate Marquardt or Dan Henderson, the two contenders should fight at UFC 105 for a shot at the belt. That would line up a title fight sometime in February or March.
Now's the hard part. You could have Silva fight Mauricio Rua should he fall to Machida or you could have him fight the loser of Quinton Jackson-Rashad Evans. Silva presents a difficult matchup, however, for guys who will be looking to get back in contention. Would any of them be apprehensive about taking a fight that could have them with two consecutive losses in a shark tank of a division?
Finally, there's the trickling rumors of Silva fighting at heavyweight. Frank Mir's name has been thrown around, which is probably the best combination of name value and expendability. There are numerous guys who could fill a James Irvin role, but those don't capture the imagination. You also don't want to derail upcoming prospects like Cain Velasquez.
My dream scenario would have Silva fight Brock Lesnar as his last fight with the company. If you want to build to this, you throw him a guys like Mir, Cheick Kongo, or Mirko Cro Cop, all fights I would expect Silva to win. This sets up a huge main event for 2010's year-end show.
There are a myriad of issues why Zuffa might oppose the fight, and I'm willing to address those in the comments. However, I think there's a great story at play. Anderson Silva, MMA's pound-for-pound king for 3 years running, looks to achieve MMA nirvana by defeating the most physically imposing challenge of his career and retiring with the UFC heavyweight belt.