by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
Brazilian brawler Wanderlei Silva is scheduled to meet with UFC president Dana White this week to determine his next challenge.
The former Pride champion is not thrilled about a possible cut to middleweight. He walks around at 215 pounds, and doesn’t like to cut more than 10 pounds for a fight. He denied an immediate move to the division below him, but said he would wait to hear from “the boss.”
“It’s my normal weight,” he says of the light heavyweight class. “I never cut down too much weight for a fight. Maybe I go to fight one more time at light heavyweight, and after I go down.”
To Silva, the fight that makes the most sense is a rematch with Chuck Liddell, who gave him a three-round slugfest at UFC 79. He lost the decision, but feels they put on another fight of the year.
“I am thinking I want to fight Chuck again,” says Silva. “I want to fight with him again because I had a good match with him, and his style is a good style for me, and my style is good for him. It’s good for the show. Maybe it’s good for Dana.”
Following his brutal knockout loss at the hands of Quinton Jackson, at the post-fight press conference for UFC 92, White gave some credence to a second meeting between Silva and Liddell.
Silva shot down the idea of fighting training partner Forrest Griffin, though a bout with the winner of Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin interested him.
Whatever his next move is, he feels a tremendous responsibility to have a good showing and entertain the fans. But he also acknowledged his style places him danger of being knocked out, and he may need to modify his hyper-aggressiveness.
“Yeah, I need to change, because there is a danger,” he says. “Sometimes you open the guard to throw your punches. I am old, so I need to train more to change my style. But I think I’m going to train to change what I need to change.”
Liddell would provide the motivation to do so, especially because a win over the former light heavyweight champion could reinvigorate his career.
“I don’t know if I’m going to fight with Chuck… I’m going to study what I need to change, what I need to train different,” Silva explains. “Because now my cardio is the best cardio in my life. I have a very good condition. Now, I need to change a little bit of my technique to come back to win.”
If they fight again, Silva says he will work harder to get inside Liddell’s guard. At UFC 79, he managed to on several occasions, and knocked Liddell down in the second round. He also took a lot of punishment on the way in.
“I think I need to train more stand-up, because he has a longer reach,” says Silva. “I think I need to train more boxing than Muay Thai.”
Plenty of options exist for Silva’s future. The only question is what “the boss” wants.
“I’m working for the UFC, I need to know what Dana wants for me,” says Silva.