With no clear fights on the horizon, Anderson Silva may be holding the Middleweight division hostage


Anderson Silva is an electric fighter. There is no doubt about that. Recently, though, it seems that he has started to rest on his laurels as the greatest UFC champion of all time, collecting the spoils of his fame rather than furthering his legacy.

Now, one could argue that the champ is indeed 37 years old, which is getting quite up there in fighter years. I understand that, and it’s a valid point. But on the other hand, it was Silva himself who not too long ago asked for a ten-fight contract extension, suggesting fighting was on his mind in a big way.

When Silva recently confirmed that the extension had not been signed as reported at UFC on FX 6 in Brazil, well, the UFC Middleweight title picture got a little unclear, to say the least. Couple that with the fact Silva has stated that he plans to take most of 2013 off, and the 185 lb. scene is muddied, if not in complete disarray. He says he wants to fight, and then he says he wants to take time off. Very confusing.

I understand that Anderson Silva has a ton of bargaining power as the best fighter in the MMA world. That doesn’t mean he should abuse it. I also know that his counterparts at Middleweight have done very, very little to push Silva into a spot where he has to defend his title. Alan Belcher and Tim Boetsch, for all their trash talk on Silva last year, did next to nothing at UFC 155 as both suffered a loss. Michael Bisping would have been guaranteed to fight Silva had he won last Saturday; but again, Vitor Belfort knocked him out.

The list of contenders doesn’t stop there, however, and arguably one of the best in Chris Weidman is set to return this summer from shoulder surgery. Weidman tweeted he wants the bout and Silva said he wants to fight in the summer. That’s a tough return bout though, and I remember Silva saying he wants to take most of the year off to start his MMA school and do some acting. There are still the superfights on the horizon with Jon Jones and Georges St. Pierre right?

I’d have to disagree with that right now. Jones is tied up facing Chael Sonnen at the end of April and would need a ton of coercing (and/or money) to fight his “friend” Anderson Silva. I don’t think Silva wants that fight anyway. He would like to fight the smaller St. Pierre, but GSP doesn’t seem anxious in any sense of the term to face the larger Spider. He’s scheduled to fight Nick Diaz at UFC 158 and will most likely face Johny Hendricks next should both of them win that night.

Lately, people have thrown names like Vitor Belfort and Hector Lombard into the 185 lb. title mix as well. But most likely both are a couple good wins from title contention, Belfort due to his brutal KO loss to Silva in 2011, and Lombard due to his loss to Tim Boetsch last summer (although I thought he won an uninspired fight). A bout with either of these two power strikers if definitely good for the fans, but will it happen? Not soon enough. Will he fight Rashad Evans? I’d like to see it, but I doubt it.

I respect Anderson Silva for what he has accomplished. The UFC is far and away the best promotion in MMA, but right now, it seems the most prestigious champ has his division held hostage. Dana White speculates on superfights, and this and that, yet the champ has defended his belt once since August of 2011. He didn’t tear his ACL like GSP did either. Silva said last weekend that he “has to talk to Dana and Lorenzo” concerning his next bout.

Maybe so, but will he listen? It’s time for Anderson Silva to fight like he stated he wants to do so badly, or walk away from the belt so the division can move on. He is the best, there’s no doubt about that. But like Dana White always says, when you’re the champion, you take on all comers to prove that. Let’s hope a fight announcement ends all of this speculation and red tape soon. Just don’t count on it. 

  • Both Anderson and Dana have stated publically that he was supposed to take a 6 month break after his last fight, then he ended up fighting Bonnar to continue his break.

    Considering it was both Anderson and Dana who said this, all things point to management and Silva waiting to see what happens with the upcoming fights with potential opponents (GSP, Jones, hell even Sonnen 3 possibly if he beats Jones). Or if none of those are appealing or going to happen, he can take a MW bout.

    Not to mention it's also been publically stated that Silva may vacate the MW belt.

    But at this point, he still has more time. According to UFC rules he has until July to defend the belt before it has to be vacated. No reason to start this "hostage" talk… Would you rather see another MW title defense, or a Superfight that may be a once in a lifetime event if everything falls in to place?

    • Really? Because he took almost a year off between Okami and Chael II. I recall him saying he wants to take off until late 2013:
      So, that would make two title defenses in almost two and a half years. Anderson Silva is a great fighter. I get it. I'm a big fan of his. I just think the division deserves to have the title challenged.

      • Keep on dreaming, guys.

      • The UFC have rules in place for that, and the only rule they have regarding that states if the titles not defended in a year it's vacated.

        So until July theres no issue. Who are either of us to argue with the rules?

      • what he say and what happens are 2 different things, take a look at the average length of time between GSP's title fights

        • Yeah but there have been interim bouts between GSP's fights

        • David: I beleive GSP was INJURED …. Silva jsut doesnt want to fight Weidman or Belfort again, wo whats your point about GSP?!? At least GSP has fought people twice, he never said "no I fought him already" & GSP didnt say no b/c the guy was not very known/Dan Hardy. FYI: GSP was out for 19 months & had major ACL surgery, yet he will fight twice within 5 months before Silva fights again. Again, whats your point about GSP?!?

          If Silva doesn't want to fight, I have no problem with that, then vacate the belt, but he won't & he doesn't want to fight people his own size/LHW. So WTF is he waiting for?!? Dana stated that Silva vs. GSP won't happen until 2014 at the earliest, if at all. Silva wants a 10 fight contract, but doesn't want to fight who the UFC say is the #1 MW contender.

          – Weidman ?!? No he's not known/he's a bigger & better Sonnen with KO power.
          – Belfort ?!? No, I'll already KO'd him …. which is true, but Belfort was out for 16 months & his 1st fight back was Silva.

          Either fight who the UFC say is the #1 contender @ MW or move to LHW. If not then retire & get the F&*K out!

    • Silva / Sonnen 3? Really?

      What would that be two back-to-back losses in title fights, in two different divisions and then that would somehow warrant a third / another title shot?

      But Silva / Belfort 2 is out of the question? Belfort has 3 straight wins in this division and he just KO'd the #1 contender.

      Silva / Sonnen 3 – OMG no. Not interested in seeing that fight for quite some time. Let some other fighters have a go.

      • Have you even read his comment? He said if Sonnen wins against Jon Jones.
        P.S He will.

        • @ AKordas

          So, if Sonnen wins he should switch divisions, yet again and take a third fight with a guy he's already lost to twice? This as opposed to simply defending his new belt.

          Question in this scenario, did Jones ever ask for an immediate re-match with Sonnen or is that off the table in this fantasy?

          Funny, all this predicated on a guy who has never won a title in anything and has chocked in any big fight he's ever had, is all of a sudden beating a Champion whose never lost (MH*)

          I like this scenario. Sounds fresh and fun.

          PS – He won't.

  • At best, fans will only see only one middleweight title defence in 2013, the same number of title defences we saw in 2012..

    I have set my alarm clock for end of 2013…..hopefully by then we will have some news on Anderson Silva……zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • @spyridon….Silva will never vacate the belt while he has Nike and Burger King endorsements.

      • He won't have to, the UFC will do it for him if he doesn't defend it in a year. If he comes back to MW there "may" be an allowance for an interim bout, but even if so other people would be able to compete for championship as soon as we hit July

        • @Spyridon….UFC are unlikely to retire Silva, he will go out on his own terms I imagine, and until then he will probably just fight the minimum required to satisfy sponsors and UFC.

          • Who said retire?

            The rules state if it's not defended the belt will vacated, that has nothing to do with retiring.

          • THe rules?

            Do you understand how many times the rules have been overlooked?

          • I'd like to be proven wrong… Do you have one example where the belt was not defended for over a year without an interim bout? Someone mentioned GSP but Condit was the interim champ in the meantime…

            Any examples proving otherwise?

          • There's an example right now, Jose Aldo.

            It happens a lot, the UFC just sets up a fight before the year mark sometimes and it circumvents the year mark.

            They even set up interim fights 5-6 months after a title has been defended sometimes.

            It's not a "rules" thing. It's a case by case policy. Usually having to do with draw factors for deserving challengers and champions alike.

          • Also, GSP was injured, Silva was/is NOT! He just thinks he can do what he wants, b/c he's Anderson Silva. Doesn't want to fight "#1 contenders @ MW", doesn't want to fight people his own size/LHW & calls out an avg sized WW. WOW talk about courageous & having no FEAR, but Silvawon't fight anyone who he wont have the size, strength, weight & reach advanatge. Not to mention anyone with world class wrestling, the main reason Silva & Soares didn't want to fight Sonnen a 2nd time. And Silva had t ocheat to beat him the 2nd time, yet no Silva fans talk about the holding on to Sonnens shorts for more than 10 secs, which prevented Sonnen from winning the 2nd round AGAIN & mostlikely mounting him AGAIN, like he did in the 1st round.

            Imagine had Sonnen held on to Silva's shorts to take him down & not long after that finished him. BAHAHAHAHA – how many WAAAAAMBULANCES would we have to call then I wonder?!?

            I forgot Silva ONLY wants "big names/fights", which is why he didn't want to fight Weidman, but then accepts a fight vs. a retired Bonnar?!? I forgot how HUGE Bonnar was, especially being retired & inactive for 11-12 months. "Silva took the fight b/c it was in Brazil" – Ughhh NO, Silva took the fight vs. Bonnar to PAD HIS RESUME AGAIN!!!

  • Dana said today at the UFC on Fox 6 presser that Anderson is wanting to fight in spring… only two months away. That is reasonable

    • Yes, that would be very reasonable. Who will it be at Middleweight then though? Belfort? Obviously not Jones, or GSP, perhaps Rashad? Hmmmmm…that would be so sweet….

      • @Mike…didn't rockhold already concede he needs a warm up fight and would like to fight Belfort? So that more or less rules him out. Silva beat Belfort so he doesn't want that fight and dana already indicated that Belfort will eventually get another shot if he continues in dominant fashion, but not just now…then you have Weidman who is still rehabilitating an injury….Silva is reluctant to fight bones now and bones is already scheduled to fight on April….You'd have to think Rashad has a chance here to secure a fight. but then there is the whole weight class issue. Confusing….

        • Right. and I agree with Rockhold there. But he said he would take the fight, so it could be an outside possibility on the Strikeforce vs. UFC card April 20th. I doubt it, but it's possible. It is confusing, very confusing.

          • @Mike….Thats something I hadn't considered because there is definetly space on that card if Silva became a co main event.

    • @ Keith…Jones vs Chael is scheduled for April 28th and all the other cards are full up until that date..So the earliest we could expect to see silva fight and headline a card would be May, 2013. Thats three months preparation. Definetly a possibility..

      • @ Enjoy

        I count that as 4 moths prep time, not 3. There's more than enough time to schedule Silva for a bout, come May. More than enough time.

    • … and basically impossible.

  • Regarding Vitor Belfort:

    Since his loss to Silva in February of 2011, Vitor has racked up three straight wins in his division and taken a loss to the 205 Champ, in a fight in which he should never have been in. Take that loss away and he's simply 3 & 0. Take that fight away and give him the benefit of the doubt of another fight and win in his division in-lue-of his loss to Jones and he'd be 4 & 0, since his loss to Silva. Again, what is being lost in the debate here, is that except for the loss Belfort took to Jones while doing Dana a favor and stepping-up when no one else would, Vitor is 3 & 0 and could have been 4 & 0, had he fought in his own division.

    The questions becomes does Dana owe Vitor one? When is Silva going to be required to defend his belt? Who other than Belfort right now is ready to go and would be considered a viable challenge?

    And who in the top ten or top five in the 185 division, is on a three or four fight winning streak?

    For my money, Belfort is the only legitimate, realistic and relevant option available, now. And the only viable candidate that could put Silva back in the ring by May.

    I'm sorry if The Man wants to take some time off, but he's already had seven months. I'm sorry if The Man wants to further his business enterprises and do some acting, but that's not The UFC's concern or business. Their concern and business is putting on fights and to have The Champ defend his belt.

    As Mike stated…"it seems that he has started to rest on his laurels". As GSP gave up his belt, because he couldn't defend it due to injury, Silva seems happy to not defend his, while rested and injury free. And when one takes into consideration that GSP missed the year, rehabbed his knee, fought Condit, got his belt back and is climbing back in the ring to defend his title against Nick Diaz on 120 days of turn around time and in all likelihood will face Hendricks 120 days after that, should they both win…it becomes pretty hard to accept Anderson's defense ethic or reasons for not fighting.

    Belfort is a more than a worthy opponent. He's easily earned it, particularly given the 185 landscape, right now. Make the match.

  • It's hardly Silva's fault that there isn't a clear contender in the division. Weidman is rehabbing a serious injury and will need at least one fight before fighting Silva. Bisping just lost. Lombard looked like dogshit on his debut. Rockhold hasn't fought in a while and should have to fight at least one top 5 guy before getting a title shot. Belfort got KO'ed in epic fashion when they fought. You can't blame Silva if the rest of the division can't get their shit together.

    Maybe they should have just made the Diaz fight, or persuaded BJ Penn to go up in weight for one last hurrah. Or brought back Tito so that he could give it his all one final time. Or made a rematch with Forrest since their first fight was really close and competitive.

  • Looks like Anderson can't be arsed at the moment. I suggest a 'no training' and definitely 'no wrestling' catchweight fight – Silva vs Rampage. Actually, if it happened this spring Rampage would be up to about 280lb so perhaps an openweight. The UFC could certainly make some money I think. And it might convince Silva to fight again, and Jackson to stay for another fight.

    • "can't be arsed at the moment" Im at a loss for that phrase. Enlighten non Brits please.

  • I wouldnt mind seeing Vitor have another chance. I feel another fight would not end nearly as quick. Maybe Silva needs to challenge himself and stay at 205, but who am I too say?

    • @ Entity

      You're a fan of the sport and the promotion. You have all the right to say.

    • I think that would be a great fight as well, but they have supposedly been more friendly with each other lately, and considering Vitors post fight it doesn't seem he is looking for another chance.

      • @ Spy

        Friends or no friends, I see no reason not to fight, particularly when they've already done so in the past. Precedent and all that, stuff.

        I'm with Entity, I think it would be a great bout and wouldn't go the same way, win or lose for Belfort. I think it would be a much more competitive match. As the Sonnen fights were different, the first better than the second, I believe this too, would be the case with Belfort. Only in reverse, with the second fight being much, much better than the first.

  • I don't really give a damn about so called "superfights", most of you guys wanna to say is champ vs champ. But I rather see 2 title fights in a event, or more in a year, when one this. Personally I am very pumped by each division, maybe not so much in hw and bw.

  • Tell Silva to go rest. teach and act. then do a 6 or 8 fighter tournament for a new champion, If Silva ever comes back or feels like fighting someone that isn't a 'Superfight' he can fight the new middleweight champion. Makes sense to me.