It’s been a long time since there was any real heat behind an Anderson Silva fight. With Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, you can make the argument that Anderson hasn’t had an opponent since Dan Henderson that’s fired up the fanbase (the hardcores at least) like other title fights have.
Well, that could change in the not too distant future.
Last week, Anderson called Wanderlei Silva’s move to middleweight “pretentious,” a move that would “get himself in trouble,” essentially giving his former training partner a warning. Wandy’s never been one to back down from a fight though, and it doesn’t look like he’s about to start now. His response:
“I thought it was excellent being quoted by the champion without having had a fight in (Anderson’s) division. It’s a sign that I’m already bothering him. Nobody kicks a tree that is not able to give fruits.”
“He is too cocky. I hope he can read this. … I never talked anything bad about him; I always respected him. He has always been my friend, always respected me, but now he came with that statement. I can’t understand that. I didn’t come down to 185 to face him. Actually I didn’t have that intention. … Changing divisions and fighting the champion would be too pretentious. I should have to have many fights before facing him, but concerning his last statements, I think the way is open and the war is declared.
“If he beats Thales, we will meet and we will see if he will be able to do everything he says. … He knows me; I know him. We trained a lot together. He knows my failures, but I also know his failures, and I know nobody has given him a hard time. Nobody has beaten his face badly. I believe the future is pretty promising. Let’s wait and see.”
With their extensive history and this reemerging feud, it seems like a no-brainer to make this fight the moment the UFC finds any semblance of justification to book it. So far, they’ve unfortunately failed at selling Anderson to the masses, but this might just be the match-up the UFC needs to finally do it.
Assuming Silva wins tonight, Anderson will likely face either Demian Maia, Michael Bisping, Dan Henderson, or Nate Marquardt in his next title defense. Meanwhile, Wanderlei has Rich Franklin coming up in June at UFC 99. Following that fight, we’ll likely see him make his debut at 185lbs. It’s a lot of if’s, but if Anderson holds onto his belt, and Wanderlei string together a couple of wins, I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the UFC books Silva vs Silva for late ’09, early ’10.
Actually, I’d be more surprised if they didn’t.
Image courtesy of Sherdog.com