Anderson Silva: Is He Sleeping on the Job?
Anderson Silva may be the champion the middleweight division needs, but he isn't the one it deserves.
In early November, Silva told Tatame.com he wouldn't be fighting again until the end of 2013.
Upon his return, he hopes to finally be locked into a superfight with UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. If the superfight comes to fruition, this would put the entire middleweight division at a standstill.
Silva's next title defense wouldn't come until 2014, which would create a two-year gap between his last defense against Chael Sonnen.
Top middleweight contender Michael Bisping spoke out against Silva during an interview on MMAJunkie Radio:
I kind of feel like he's maybe having a little bit of fun with it sometimes, but this isn't a comedy program. This is the UFC, and this is fighting. It's serious business. If you want to take a year out, take a year out. If you don't want to take a year out, fight the No. 1 contender. Anderson is the best, but you've got to defend that title.
As great as Silva is, he has an obligation to the middleweight division to defend his title.
The life of a champion isn't always about fat paychecks and marquee fights. It's a revolving door of facing whoever is next in line.
Silva has defeated just about every marquee name at 185 pounds, but the division isn't going to waste and fade away. There will always be new faces that climb the ranks and position themselves in line for a title shot.
A year ago, it was Chael Sonnen, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami. Now, it's Chris Weidman, Michael Bisping and Tim Boetsch seeking a shot.
Perhaps Silva is growing bored with the middleweight division, which would be completely understandable.
He has dominated light heavyweights, future Hall of Famers and former UFC champions. At 37-years-old, he wants to be involved in the biggest fights possible, and it's tough to do that in a waning middleweight division.
This is probably why Silva has chosen to take random fights at light heavyweight and challenge St-Pierre at a catch weight.
While the middleweight division isn't the most stacked weight class in the sport, it is a division full of great talent and worthy title contenders. It needs a champion 100 percent committed to defending his title.
It isn't fair to ask guys to wait a couple of years until Silva is finally ready to defend his title. The show must go on.
Unfortunately, the UFC doesn't have a pound-for-pound title to place on Silva, and the whole interim title gig is becoming played out.
If he truly is bored and plans on a 2014 defense, Silva should consider vacating the middleweight title and moving on to bigger and better things. This isn't about extending UFC records or walking around with a plate of gold, it's about progress and giving worthy contenders a shot at capturing the same glory that helped turn Silva into a star.
Anderson Silva needs to either wake up or move over so someone else can have a turn.
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