Now, don't get me wrong- I love 'The Spider' as much as everyone else; Silva's brilliant striking, killer instinct, and flash are extremely entertaining and fun to watch. I would like to see him fight as soon as is possible, just like the rest of the MMA community; however, UFC 112 just might be a bit ambitious for the time being, and i'll tell you why: there are no suitable opponents for Anderson right now.
At middleweight, Sonnen (the #1 contender) will be out until early March because of the gnarly cut he suffered from a Nate Marquardt elbow @ UFC 109, which would leave Chael less than a month to train. We all know that Hendo is no longer an option (whether that's good or bad for the UFC and/or Dan is another question entirely). Other potential MW suitors (Maia, Akiyama, Marquardt) are all very lackluster because of either recent losses (Maia's KO loss to Nate, Nate's schoolyard beatdown at the hands of Sonnen) or inactivity (Akiyama's mysterious 6+ month layoff).
At 205 (which Andy has successfully forayed into before), the name being thrown around right now is Randy, but it's said that a fight between Couture & Ace is in the works- a fight that makes a whole lot more sense for all parties involved, given that Andy would likely stomp Randy and put the brakes on a potential title bid by either Couture or Franklin. Other potential LHW's for 'The Spider' to fight would be Vlad Matyushenko, Luiz Cane, Thiago Silva, or maybe the like of Jon Jones; however, Matyushenko has very little visibility with casual fans (and poses a stylistic possibility of actually beating Anderson), Cane & Silva are both coming off of sound losses, & they wouldn't want to rush a prospect like Bones into facing elite comp.
IMO, the best solution is to just take Andy off of the 112 card, push a fight between him & Sonnen for June or July, and in the meantime get 1 more solid main card fight for Abu Dhabi. The card is already anchored by the Penn/ Edgar LW title scrap, as well as the Hughes/ Renzo match- a perfectly suitable main + co- main event; the Etim/ Dos Anjos fight as well as the Grove/ Munoz fights are main card quality fights as well- maybe move up the Koscheck/ Daley fight to 112. Then you'd have a show.
Does anyone else agree? I just think that if Anderson really is going to retire soon, then every fight we see of him should be against the best possible comp, and not just for him to sell tickets.