Anderson Silva: Should He Finish His Career at Light Heavyweight?

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Anderson Silva: Should He Finish His Career at Light Heavyweight?
David Becker/Associated Press
Anderson Silva at a UFC 162 Press Conference

At UFC 168, Anderson Silva broke his leg upon having one of his kicks checked by the current middleweight champion, Chris Weidman.

After undergoing surgery to repair the former champion’s left tibia and fibula and months of rehabilitation, one of Silva’s managers, Ed Soares, predicted the Brazilian's return. According to Elias Cepeda of Yahoo Sports, Soares stated:

We won't see him (Silva) back any earlier than the end of this year or, most likely, the beginning of next year...There's always a chance (he comes back in 2014), but as of right now I think his mind is set on fighting at the beginning of next year.

Should Anderson Silva Finish His Career at Light Heavyweight?

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As the longest-reigning middleweight champion in UFC history, Silva's reappearance at 185 is nonsensical at this point.

In fact, given the former champion’s dominance at light heavyweight, stemming back to 2008, finishing his career in this division is logically sound and could finally result in a super matchup against current 205-pound phenom and champion Jon Jones.

 

The Anderson Silva/Jon Jones Saga MAY STILL Continue…

At light heavyweight, Silva is undefeated. In 2008, even as the reigning middleweight champion, Silva stepped up to 205 pounds and fought James Irvin in the main event at UFC Fight Night 14. The Brazilian quickly finished his opponent, knocking out “The Sandman” one minute and one second into the first round.

Silva went on to compete at light heavyweight two more times, defeating UFC Hall of Famers in former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar at UFC 101 and UFC 153, respectively.

The former champion finished both of the previously mentioned opponents in the first round.

His ability to make heavier opponents appear amateurish and slow in their fighting efforts spoke volumes and exemplified Silva's elite combative skills from one division to the next.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Silva and Jones at the ESPY Awards in 2012

Previous to Silva’s championship loss to Weidman, there was a great amount of talk among the MMA world that revolved around a super fight between Jones and the former champion. Of course, since the loss of Silva’s middleweight title, the chatter has all but died down.

However, according to former longtime welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, Silva walks around at 230 pounds. Therefore, at 39 years old, a return to the light heavyweight division makes sense and would revitalize the conversation regarding a title fight between the current light heavyweight champion and Silva.

If Silva returned to the UFC and made the 205-pound division his home, his presence would inject even more excitement into the division, invigorate fans and may even yield another championship title for the Brazilian before he finally retires.

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