Anderson Silva and Dana White

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Anderson Silva is not messing around. With challenges being few and far between in the UFC’s middleweight division, Anderson Silva is setting his sights on a bigger challenge—the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Dana White has largely opposed the idea of having one fighter hold multiple belts simultaneously, but in Silva’s case, he’s willing to make an exception.

When I talk about real fighter, this is the kind of guy I’m talking about. This guy sat down in a meeting with us, literally, two months ago and said you’re not fighting me enough, I want to fight more. And he wants to keep proving himself. He’s one of these guys that said my window is this big and I want to get everything in before this window closes.

He wants to keep sticking his foot in the 205 division to feel it out. Because what he’s testing is, I think he wants both belts.

He wants to hold both the 185 and the 205 pound belt and he wants to defend them both. Normally I won’t let guys do stuff like that because it’s just… stupid. I’ll let Anderson Silva do it.

As good as Anderson Silva is, capturing UFC light heavyweight gold is a different story entirely than the UFC’s middleweight division. Not only will Anderson have to compete with guys like Chuck Liddell, former teammate Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Lyoto Machida, he will for the most part have to do it with a size disadvantage. Anderson is said to walk around at 210-215 lbs, but that’s still significantly smaller than some of the division’s larger fighters like Liddell and Griffin. Does that mean he can’t compete? Not at all. Wanderlei Silva walks around at approximately the same weight and we all saw what he did to the larger Keith Jardine. It’s just going to be an adjustment, and one that many are highly interested to see if he can make.

An issue that may throw a monkey wrench into Silva’s plans, however, is the additions and modifications to the weight classes laid out in the newly revised unified rules of mixed martial arts. It remains to be seen if the UFC will adopt the weight class changes or not, but if they do, Silva would likely be gunning for the new middleweight (over 185.1 to 195 lbs) and super middleweight (over 195.1 to 205 lbs) titles at that point. These changes would have such a huge impact on the UFC though that I really don’t see that happening anytime in the near future.

Silva’s trek starts July 19 against dangerous Muay Thai striker James Irvin at Ultimate Fight Night 14. Will his first step be a successful one?