(Video courtesy MMAWeekly)
During a Q&A session at this weekend’s UFC Fan Expo UFC president Dana White revealed that his promotion’s middleweight champion, Anderson Silva may be moving up a weight class sooner than anticipated.
Although he has only fought twice at that heavier weight, the way that he defeated, or rather destroyed both of his opponents is why White’s interest in having him move up is so high. In between title defenses, Silva packed on considerable muscle to move up and knock out James Irvin at UFN 14 and Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.
“I think Anderson is here today, and many of you will see what a huge guy this guy is. He’s huge. And not only has he dominated the 185-pound division, he’s done very well going up to 205," explained White. "I actually honestly can see him going up to 205 and mixing it up, up there. I don’t know. We’ll see. Anything can happen and things change all the time in this sport, but that’s the direction I see him going.”
White has mentioned several times in the past that there is a good chance that once Silva cleans out the division, he will likely move up to 205 to chase that division’s title. Now that the light heavyweight belt isn’t around the waist of his good friend and training partner Lyoto Machida, the move will be that much easier.
Personally, I would have loved to see Dana follow through with the proposed superfight between Silva and welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre that was teased during the UFC 112 broadcast. And what about Vitor? But the reality is, Silva may not make the jump if Chael Sonnen beats him this summer. Dana has repeatedly stated that "if" Silva cleans out the UFC’s middleweight class he would move up and he reiterated that statement last weekend, noting that Sonnen has surprised him before.
“He’s got to get through this fight with Chael, and then we’re going to start talking about him going to 205. He could knock Chael out, but I tell you what, Chael’s going to be in his face going for takedowns and he’s going to make him…I actually like this fight with Chael Sonnen. The Demian Maia thing, Demian Maia is awesome," White said. "I like him. I respect him. He’s a great jiu-jitsu guy. But you can’t compare his takedowns to Chael’s. Going into the Nate Marquardt fight I said ‘I don’t see how Chael Sonnen wins this fight. I don’t see how he does it. Nate’s got good takedown defense. Nate’s stand-up is nasty. Nate’s no joke.’ And you saw the outcome of that fight."