Not to say champion Anderson Silva is looking past Demian Maia this Saturday at “UFC 112: Invincible,” but the planet’s baddest middleweight is already conjuring up some big plans for the future, and possibly a few smaller ones as well.
The Brazilian owns a dominant 25-4 professional record and is prefect through his last 11 scraps. Silva is a heavy 7-to-1 favorite to make his seventh consecutive title defense, which is a UFC record.
For those reasons, the 34-year-old has had to look outside his weight class in order to entertain himself. Silva was last seen jabbing Forrest Griffin into unconsciousness at UFC 101 last August in a 205-pound affair.
His only other UFC light heavyweight contest also ended in the 1stRound when it took him a mere 61 seconds to put James “The Sandman” Irvin to sleep.
Physically, challenging for the light heavyweight crown makes the most sense for Silva, however he actually has his sights set on dropping a few pounds and experimenting with the welterweight division.
“I’d like to test myself and I always love to take on new challenges,” Silva told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports. “It’s not that I want to go fight Georges St. Pierre for his title. There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s the reigning champion, the absolute champion, in that weight category. But I just want to test myself and see how I’d do at that weight.”
For now, he’ll leave the 205-pound belt alone and allow his training partner and friend, Lyoto Machida, to enjoy it. However, “The Dragon” will be defending his gold against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at UFC 113 next month, so if for some reason Machida comes up short, Silva will gladly step-in to restore the good Team Black House name.
At the same time, Silva believes his webs have no bounds. If Machida retains his strap, “The Spider” would have no qualms with leapfrogging the light heavyweights and go directly for the big boys.
“It would be disrespectful for me to say I want to fight Brock Lesnar, who is the heavyweight champion right now,” Silva stated. “I need to test myself at heavyweight first before I talk about who I want to fight. But I definitely have interest in testing myself as a heavyweight.”
There are only two fighters in UFC history to hold titles in multiple weight classes, Randy Couture (heavyweight and light heavyweight) and BJ Penn (lightweight and welterweight).
Neither held the belts simultaneously.
“I understand how big that would be,” Silva said of owning multiple championships. “It would be a great thing to try to accomplish. Only time will tell what will happen. I would like to try to go to do that, but I’ve had success by focusing on what I have to do and nothing else.
“I just take one step at a time.”