by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Anderson Silva has cleared out the Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight division outside of his upcoming UFC 117 opponent Chael Sonnen.
Widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, if Silva comes away with a win on Aug. 7 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., the organization plans to enter into talks with the Brazilian about possibly moving to the light heavyweight division.
“He’s got to get through this fight with Chael, and then we’re going to start talking about him going to 205,” said UFC president Dana White at the UFC Fan Expo.
Silva is undefeated (2-0) as a light heavyweight with two first-round knockout wins, defeating James Irvin and Forrest Griffin.
“He’s huge, and not only has he dominated the 185-pound division, but he’s done very well going up to 205,” said White. “I can actually see him going up to 205 and mixing it up, up there.”
Silva first has to defeat Sonnen before switching weight classes makes sense, and that’s not a small feat.
“He could knock Chael out, but I tell you what, Chael’s going to be in his face going for takedowns. I actually like this fight with Chael Sonnen. The Demian Maia thing, Demian Maia is awesome. I like him. I respect him. He’s a great jiu-jitsu guy. You can’t compare his takedowns to Chael’s,” commented the UFC president about the match-up.
Silva is the favorite heading into his UFC 117 title bout with Sonnen, but a fight is a fight and anything can happen. But White anticipates a move for Silva to the light heavyweight division after Aug. 7.
“Anything can happen. And things change all the time in this sport, but that’s the direction I see him going.”