Ever since UFC 79, where Wanderlei Silva was at a significant size and reach disadvantage in his loss to Chuck Liddell, many fans and pundits have been calling for Wanderlei to move down to middleweight.
Now, a little over a year later, a report has surfaced suggesting that Silva will be making that move.
Sources close to the aggressive Brazilian EXCLUSIVELY revealed to MMABay that he will be moving to 185 pounds after spending the last couple of years fighting bigger men and coming up short.
If you remember, immediately following his devastating knockout loss to Rampage Jackson only a week ago, Wandy told RawVegas.tv that his wish was to rematch Rampage at the end of 2009, essentially implying that he didn’t have any intentions of dropping weight classes. However, he had just been knocked out cold only a few short hours ago, and likely hadn’t spent that time in between thinking about anything other than avenging the loss. It’s unclear if this is a decision Wandy made on his own or one the UFC made for him.
Regardless, if Silva does indeed drop to 185lbs, he can instantly become a contender in a division where he won’t have to face the huge power punchers that roam the 205 lbs division, well, at least until he makes it to the top. With Yushin Okami and Thales Leites as the only names being thrown around to challenge for Anderson’s title in the near future, don’t be surprised if it only takes one win for the UFC to grant Wandy a title shot.
Update after the jump.
[UPDATE 1/5/09 10:06AM ET] – MMA Weekly had a report this morning that suggests Wanderlei isn’t too keen on the prospect of moving to 185lbs. Apparently, he’s willing to do it if that’s what the UFC wants, but he’s not too fond of cutting the weight. If he is forced to make the move, at the very least, he wants a rematch with Chuck Liddell first. He is also interested in facing the Franklin vs. Henderson winner, although it was unclear from the report if that was the UFC’s idea or MMA Weekly’s.
“It’s my normal weight. 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.”
“I am thinking I want to fight Chuck again. 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.”
Wandy did acknowledge that he needs to concentrate on changing his style so he isn’t so susceptible to getting knocked out. Quite honestly, I think that is a much bigger problem for him than his size. Even if moves to middleweight, he may be able to wipe all of the contenders out, but he’s going to have a hell of a time with Anderson Silva. As much as I hate to admit it, Anderson’s reach and precision would likely pick him apart.