Despite what was reported by Yahoo! Sports writer Dan Wetzel, UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva is not prepared to voluntarily relinquish his title to make a permanent move to the light heavyweight division.
Wetzel reported that Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, notified UFC president Dana White that his top client was willing to move to the 205-pound division once-and-for-all and put his 185-pound title up for grabs.
This is a conversation that is breaking news to Soares.
“It’s not true. I never said that to Dana,” Soares told MMAWeekly.com. “I never said he would move up and relinquish the title. I have said to Dana that he’d like to fight again at 205 (but not permanently).”
After Silva’s humiliating knockout of Forrest Griffin at UFC 101, White indicated that he would likely drop back down to the 185-lb. class to defend his strap against Dan Henderson. Silva caught Hendo in a rear-naked choke in the 2ndRound of their UFC 82 bout, leaving Soares to wonder aloud if Henderson is deserving of a rematch at this point.
Since their fight two years ago, Hendo has posted three consecutive W’s: a unanimous decision over Rousimar Palhares in a middleweight affair, a split decision win over Rich Franklin at light heavyweight, and an Anderson Silva-like 185-pound knockout victory over Michael Bisping.
“Does that really make him a number one contender? I feel a true number one opponent (at 185) would be if Henderson fought the winner of Nate Marquardt and Damian Maia,” Soares expressed. “That would produce a true number one contender … we could take another fight at 205 or a catchweight fight (in the meantime).”
Soares has a point. The mystique that is “The Spider” has returned to strike fear in the hearts of all potential middle and light heavyweight contenders. Why would the UFC waste that momentum on a rematch that most prefer not to see, other than the fact Silva is in it?
In the meantime, Silva and Co. are content on pulling double-duty. Just point them in the direction towards a mega-fight.
“I’ve always said the same thing, he wants the biggest fights possible, whether it’s at 205 or 185,” Soares said.
Silva is currently riding a dominating 11 fight winning streak, all resulting in finishes except for his unanimous over Thales Leites at UFC 97. MMA’s most lethal striker has clearly separated himself from his middleweight peers and both of his light heavyweight bouts have lasted a total of four minutes and 24 seconds.
I don’t think the question is who’s next, it should be who would even want some of that?