While most fans are pushing Anderson Silva to leave the UFC’s middleweight division in his rear-view mirror, the champ claims that, even if he disposes of Demian Maia today at UFC 112, there are still plenty of up-and-coming contenders that will require his attention.
“I’m actually far from cleaning out my division,” said Silva through an interpreter during a recent conference call. “I feel like there may be guys that are even better than me coming into the UFC. Proof that there’s tough guys in the division is Demian Maia right now … (this fight’s) going to be a big challenge for me.”
“The Spider” owns a dominant 25-4 professional record and is prefect through his last 11 scraps, so we’re not really sure who Silva is talking about when he states there is another middleweight on the planet that could take him.
Although, if we’re talking about an athlete outside of the UFC, a scrap against former Dream middleweight champion and reigning Strikeforce light heavyweight title holder Gegard Mousasi would be a very intriguing matchup.
If Silva is able to eliminate Maia as expected, he’ll hold the UFC record with seven consecutive title defenses. What’s disconcerting is that he’s appeared bored in his last pair of 185-pound fights. For whatever reason, Silva didn’t fight with the same veracity he did in his two light heavyweight contests.
MMA’s most efficient striker toyed with Patrick Cote at UFC 90 before the Canadian blew out his knee in the 3rdRound. At the time, it was the furthest anyone had taken the Brazilian in an Octagon affair.
He followed that up with an uninspired unanimous decision effort over Thales Leites at UFC 97.
Sandwiching those uneventful championship victories were two spectacular 205-pound fights which saw Silva put James “The Sandman” Irvin and Forrest Griffin to sleep in a combined 4:24. That’s correct, together, Irvin and the former champ couldn’t make it past an entire round against the pound-for-pound king.
With the separation between he and the middleweight field never being further apart, many wonder what keeps him so amped to remain in the less than competitive division?
“My biggest motivation is to be the champion of the UFC, the biggest event in the world,” Silva emphatically stated. “I love being the champion, that makes me happy and motivates me to train and get back into the Octagon.
“I feel right at home in the UFC. I’m very comfortable and happy with where I’m at.”
He can’t be too cozy because he turned the mixed martial arts world upside-down when he said he was considering dabbling in weight classes other than 185 and 205.
“My goal is still to put on many great fights in the UFC, as many victories as I can throughout the three divisions – middleweight, light heavyweight and possibly heavyweight,” Silva said of his aspirations to dominate multiple divisions. “Heavyweight is definitely something I have in mind. It’s in my plans. I’ve been adapting my training to take on that challenge.”
Whether he decides to bounce, or sticks around to continue and embarrass all oncoming middleweight contenders remains to be seen. Regardless, he will undoubtedly go down as the division’s G.O.A.T. when it’s all said and done.
Don’t forget it’s an early start today in Abu Dhabi, with the live pay-per-view broadcast beginning at 1PM ET/10AM PT. However, a replay will also be made available tonight during the UFC’s customary 10PM ET/7PM PT time slot.