by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
There is no question of the legendary status of Wanderlei Silva in the world of mixed martial arts. Now the Brazilian fighter is ready to begin a new legacy fighting at 185 pounds, and his next challenge could be coming sooner than expected.

Following a win over Michael Bisping in Australia, Silva spoke exclusively with MMAWeekly.com on Tuesday, where he confirmed who he will be fighting, and said the timing should make fans happy.

“I know I’m going to fight soon,” said the former Pride champion. “I’m going to have a great surprise for my fans what date I’m going to fight. I’m so close to signing my next fight, we’ll talk about things a little bit more, and I think I’m going to be fighting soon.”

The opponent will be Yoshihiro Akiyama, who has made no secret that he wants to fight Silva. He may get exactly what he’s been asking for with a rejuvenated “Axe Murderer.”

“It’s a great match because he’s an incredible fighter. He’s got an Olympic gold medal. He’s had great performances in Dream in Japan, (he’s) very famous there,” Silva commented about Akiyama. “I think it’s a great opportunity, one more really tough opponent, and I’m going to prove in the future it’s possible I can be with the best fighters in 185.”

While his focus now turns to Akiyama, Silva also mentioned a second fight with Michael Bisping, who wanted another shot after losing the unanimous decision in Sydney.

“The next is (Akiyama) and he is number one, and the number two is Bisping because I’m going to give a rematch to him,” said Silva.

Rumors have placed the match-up between Silva and Akiyama as a possible fight for the upcoming UFC 115 fight card in Vancouver slated for June 12. MMAWeekly.com will have further information on the proposed fight between Silva and Akiyama as soon as details are available.