by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
There has been a lot of speculation about how UFC
middleweight champion Anderson Silva would do fighting up in the 205-pound
weight class. Some of those questions, and a few more that were posed, were
answered on Saturday night in Las Vegas as Silva disposed of James Irvin in the
first minute of the first round of their light heavyweight showdown at UFC
Fight Night 14.
Though Silva proved that he has what it takes to fight at
205 pounds, his immediate plans don’t include another light heavyweight bout.
Instead, he has plans to go back to middleweight and defend his title belt.
Even as the fight with Irvin was first announced, UFC
president Dana White said that Silva would be making a quick stop at 205 and
then defend his belt on Sept. 6 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship stops
in Atlanta for the first time.
“Anderson Silva, being the monster that he is, you all know
is going to move up to 205 on July 19… If everything goes well, he wants to
move back to 185 and fight Sept. 6 in Atlanta, probably against Yushin Okami, then he wants to
fight again two months later,” said White at the time.
But even the best-laid plans sometimes hit a snag, and so
has Silva’s planned title defense at UFC 88 in Georgia.
“Okami’s out of that fight. He
broke his hand. If (Silva) fights in September it’ll be (Patrick) Cote,” stated
White at Saturday night’s post-fight press conference at the Palms in Las
Cote recently solidified his spot in the queue of fighters
waiting for a shot at Silva when he defeated Ricardo Almeida on July 5 at UFC
“(Silva) said he wants to defend his 185-pound title. He
said he wants to test the waters at 205. He did (on Saturday night),” continued
White. “He’s going to defend his title again in September and
then probably try to take another fight at 205.
“I think he wants to take his time. I think he wants to stay
at 185 and completely clean out that division, go from there.”
Silva’s ambition puts him on task to fight at least two more
times this year after already having fought twice earlier in 2008. It’s
something that White admires about his champion.
“(Silva) took the fight (with Irvin) on short notice, moved
up to 205, wants to fight all the best guys in the world at 185 pounds, wants
to fight all the best guys at 205 pounds, wants to fight every three months…
uh, yah. It’s a little difficult for us to move things around, but when a guy
has that mentality… I love it.”