It remains unclear when or who UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will next compete against despite rumors of a potential title fight against Chris Weidman looming for July.
UFC president Dana White said recently that the promotion was in the beginning stages of negotiations to put Silva back in action against the fighter most consider to be the No. 1 contender at 185 pounds.
For the first time since those reports surfaced, Silva is commenting on the bout and how it comes much to his surprise that he's rumored to fight anyone right now.
"Really? This is a new one for me," Silva told UFC Tonight on Tuesday when asked about the proposed bout with Chris Weidman.
Now, Silva has been known on more than a few occasions to have fun with the media, not exactly saying what is or isn't on his mind or what's going on with contract or fight negotiations, so it's likely he's well aware of the fight against Chris Weidman.
Still, it doesn't appear Silva is any warmer now about facing Chris Weidman than he was last year when he shot down the possible bout after looking at the New York native's record and overall lack of UFC experience.
Silva believes a fight against Weidman is good for only one person – Chris Weidman.
"It's good for Chris Weidman, not for me," Silva said. "He's a boy, he's a kid, it's good for Chris Weidman."
Weidman has shouted quite loudly about his desire to face Silva in the Octagon once his surgically repaired shoulder is back to full health and he can return to action in the summer.
Is this just another classic game of cat and mouse perpetrated to perfection by Anderson Silva, or does he legitimately have no desire to face Chris Weidman?
UFC president Dana White has been dealing with Anderson Silva for many years, and he knows his champion very well. He describes everything with Silva as "a process" whether it's for a fight or a new contract.
One point he will concede, however, is that Silva, at 37 years of age, is entering the tail end of his career and what he wants right now are the biggest fights the UFC can put him in.
“It’s always a process with Anderson Silva, but to be honest, he wants big fights," White told UFC Tonight. "He’s 38 years old, the guy still looks and fights like he’s 25, but you don’t know how much time he has left. He wants that GSP (Georges St-Pierre) fight, he wants that Jon Jones fight and he wants big fights.”
White is confident as they continue to negotiate with Silva on a new multi-fight contract that he will eventually face Chris Weidman. Whether it happens in July or not remains to be seen.
Who will Anderson Silva face next?
“Anderson Silva still has to sign a new UFC contract. It’s either going to be an eight or 10-fight deal and he’s going to have to fight Chris Weidman in there somewhere," said White.
Could this latest move by Silva just be posturing to continue building the hype for a fight against Weidman, or will he move to hopefully face someone like Jon Jones later this year instead?
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted