Relax, it isn’t going to happen. Here’s why.
Silva is the man at 185. Why would he depart what is so clearly his division? He doesn’t just fight in it, and he’s not just the champion of it. He built it. He owns it. It’s his.
Silva is on the greatest run in UFC history—10 straight title defenses, 15 straight wins, and he just picked up his ninth “Fight Night” bonus to boot—only one shy of Chris Lytle’s record of 10. However, Silva needs to keep his eye on Nate Diaz, who has nine of his own.
If he decided to fight full time at 205, he’d have to vacate his middleweight title. The guy is not going to abandon all that to fight at light heavyweight. He may make the occasional incursion into the treacherous waters of 205, but he’s going to remain a middleweight.
Not to mention that Jon Jones is the man at 205, and Silva has already said he considers Jones a friend and will not fight him.
He’s true to his word on that pledge; he said the same thing when his buddy, Lyoto Machida was the champion.
And speaking of Jon Jones, here’s a 24-year-old wunderkind who already has three title defenses, and if he beats Dan Henderson in September, there isn’t another clear threat to his title.
And guess what? He’ll be only 25 then. He has a long run ahead of him. God only knows how many title defenses he’ll accumulate.
Don’t think that isn’t in Silva’s head. As humble as he may be, he still wants his records to stand for a while. Silva will want to stay at middleweight and win a few more fights in the attempt to secure his record.
He’s also 37 years old. True, age has not even been close to a factor thus far.
But eventually it will be.
The only question is when, and unfortunately this is something that none of us can say with any certainty. If he were going to make a run at a division inhabited by weight-cutting heavyweights, it would have been a few years ago.
Lastly, there are still challengers at 185: Michael Bisping, Mark Munoz, Chris Weidman—heck, maybe Hector Lombard really is as good as his padded record suggests. We don’t know.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. None of them has a reasonable shot to beat Silva.
And you’re right.
But with the exception of Jon Jones, what light-heavyweight has a shot at beating him either? He’s already demolished Forrest Griffin and Dan Henderson, and may very well fight Rashad Evans at 185 in the near future.
No, Anderson Silva isn’t going anywhere. It’s not because he cannot compete at 205. He’s already proven he can.
It’s because it makes no sense for him.
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