Anderson Silva stated in an interview yesterday that “I like my weight division that I fight in, and I’m prepared to stay in my weight division” through his translator Ed Soares.   Silva further stated that he wants to retire as a middleweight.  That it is good news for fighters like Vitor Belfort and Nate Marquardt who have indicated that they want to fight Silva, but is that bad news for Silva and the MMA world?  If Silva decides that he does not want to move up to the light heavyweight or heavyweight division to showcase his skills what will that do to his legacy?  Right now Silva is regarded by many as the pound for pound greatest fighter in the world.  This has been largely based on the fact that he has never lost in the UFC, he has set the record for most title defenses with six and he is 2-0 as a light heavyweight with highlight reel knockout victories over James Irvin and former light heavyweight champion Forest Griffin.  If Silva decides that he is going to stay in the middleweight division and continues dominate will he still be considered the best pound for pound fighter in the world?  The likely answer is no. Designations like “best pound for pound fighter” are earned (which Silva has up to this point), and are maintained by stretching one’s skills, by reaching for a greater challenge and by actively seeking out the toughest opponents out there, not by staying status quo.  In addition to hurting his legacy, Silva is hurting the MMA world by not attempting to dominate two weight divisions.  In the history of the UFC, no fighter has ever held a championship in two different weight classes at the same time and truly, other then possibly Randy Couture or BJ Penn, there has not been a fighter that has had the ability to do so.  Silva is in the prime of his fighting career and assuming he is victorious over Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, there are only two legitimate fights left for him in the middleweight division and that is the long awaited fight with Belfort and a rematch with Marquardt.  If Silva wins those three fights, the only reason for him to stay in that weight division is if Georges St. Pierre moves up in weight class for a super fight.  If that does not happen then Silva needs to move up in weight class to get the competition he needs to showcase his skills.  There are many great fighters in the middleweight division but they are not yet at the elite level of Silva.  Silva would be able to compete with fighters in the light heavyweight division that would not be afraid to engage with him and it would allow him to display the skills that made many fight fans love him in the first place.  If Silva does not want to do this, it is possible that he will fade out of the pound for pound best discussion and possibly lose his value as one of the UFC’s top draws.  For the MMA fan community, MMA world and Silva himself, it would be best for him to show the world he can dominate both the light heavy weight and middle weight divisions.

About The Author

Josh Davis
President and Site Director

Josh Davis is the owner and President of The MMA Corner, LLC. He has been a fan of mixed martial arts since seeing UFC 1 in his hometown. In addition to his The MMA Corner responsibilities, Josh is the editor of Scrapp! Fight Magazine. Josh has also written for MMA Unleashed and MMA Sports magazines. Josh also manages some of Colorado's best up and coming fighters and is dedicated to the positive promotion of the sport.