by Ivan Canello & Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
The rumors about Wanderlei Silva’s next Ultimate Fighting Championship bout have been gaining momentum lately and the Brazilian’s latest blog entry on his official website will only fan the flames.
After taking some time to travel with his family to Brazil, Silva has returned to the U.S. and is starting to talk about his next fight and surprisingly, a possible move down in weight classes to the middleweight division.
“I just got home to Vegas and I am going to the UFC office to know about my next fight,” said Silva.
“I’m thinking about my next opponent who’s probably going to be (Keith) Jardine. I found him a good choice after his victory over Chuck Liddell.” He also said, “I think that would be a very good opponent because our styles match very good.”
Though he added, “…there’s nothing official yet.”
Jardine has been the name most often mentioned for Silva’s likely return in May at UFC 84 in Las Vegas. His blog entry seems to confirm that is the bout being discussed not only by fans, but also by the UFC officials.
Despite the prospect of Keith Jardine on the horizon, Silva has another fighter on his mind, Dan Henderson. Along with a Henderson rematch, he mentioned a possible drop in weight classes as well.
“On the other hand, we have Anderson Silva vs. Dan Henderson, which will a very good fight. If Henderson wins that fight, I wouldn’t think twice to drop down my weight to face him again,” stated Silva. “I respect him a lot, but I have him inside my throat since our last fight because I wasn’t in my best day on that occasion.”
The two faced each other at Pride Fighting Championships final event in America in February of 2007. Henderson knocked out Silva two minutes into the third round.
“I am thinking seriously (about changing) my weight class in the UFC because I am too short and the athletes in my weight class are 1.90 meters (6’3″) tall. At the moment, I am 1.80 meters (5’11”),” he stated.
“I’ve being waiting, but I haven’t grown any taller. I think my size will be this one!”
Silva would be one of the larger fighters at middleweight and there are plenty of opponents that would provide prominent match-ups. The obvious marquee bouts would be against fellow Brazilian and current champion Anderson Silva or the rematch with Henderson. But en route to either of those fights, there are other potential fights with Nate Marquardt, Rich Franklin, Yushin Okami, or the returning Evan Tanner.
So it sounds as if there may be a future for the “Axe Murderer” in the lighter weight class, but considering his tone about the possibility of a bout with Jardine, it appears that any move will likely wait until sometime after May.