The debate on who is the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world wages on with only a handful of names considered: Anderson Silva, Georges St. Pierre, Fedor Emelianenko, and Miguel Torres. But make no mistake, Anderson Silva, despite recent criticism, still makes a strong case for consideration at the top.
At UFC 97, Silva set an Ultimate Fighting Championship record by winning his ninth consecutive fight in the Octagon. The history-making feat has gotten lost in the shuffle of criticism swirling around his main event match against Thales Leites in Montreal. Silva decisively won a unanimous decision over his fellow Brazilian, but didn’t finish, despite having Leites hurt on a few occasions throughout the five-round bout.
Having cleared out the UFC’s middleweight division, Anderson Silva is looking for superfights in the future.
“I just think Anderson wants to be involved with the biggest fights possible and the biggest fights that the UFC can put together. If it’s at 205, 185 or if it’s at some catchweight, it doesn’t make a difference,” Silva’s manager Ed Soares told MMAWeekly.com. “He’s got four fights left on his contract and he wants to make them the biggest fights possible. He wants to leave a legacy behind.”
A match-up with UFC welterweight titleholder Georges St. Pierre has been milling around the rumor mill for some time, but Silva has fought twice as a light heavyweight and moving up to the 205-pound division to compete for the title isn’t out of the question. A match-up with St. Pierre depends on the Canadian’s performance against top welterweight contender Thiago Alves at UFC 100 on July 11 in Las Vegas.
Silva’s moving up to challenge for the light heavyweight belt is contingent of his training partner Lyoto Machida’s UFC 98 match-up with UFC light heavyweight champion and top ranked Rashad Evans.
“If for some reason Lyoto Machida is not successful on May 23, then who knows? Maybe we will go after that title, but right now Anderson feels the 205-pound belt belongs to Lyoto. He just hasn’t had the chance to fight for it yet,” said Soares. “A fight with him and Lyoto is never going to happen. He just wants to have superfights.”
According to Soares, we can expect to see Silva back in action sometime this fall which would allow for the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 9 coaches, Dan Henderson and Michael Bisping, also competing on the UFC 100 fight card, the winner of St. Pierre vs. Alves, and the winner of Evans and Machida, to all be viable options for Silva’s next opponent and considered “superfights.”