After his lackluster performances at UFC 90 and UFC 97, Anderson Silva was looking shaky at best as a future main event fighter. There's no way you could introduce the UFC to a new market like Philadelphia, some of the most demanding fans in the country, and have Silva fight like Floyd Mayweather Jr. dancing his way to a decision.
It's clear Silva has not been engaging and fighting aggressively like he had in the past. Was he disinterested or simply afraid to lose, and jeopardize his place amongst the top five pound-for-pound fighters in the world? Until the real reason comes out, it doesn't matter much because his next fight will be the talk of the summer as he's being thrown in with Forrest Griffin, one of the top five light heavyweights in the world. According to Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole, Silva versus Griffin is slated for UFC 101 in Philadelphia. In many ways, with B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian rumored for the card, UFC 101 already matches the much-hyped UFC 100.
There's little doubt that Griffin will push the pace and may try to take it to the ground to impose what looks like a size advantage. Will he have a size advantage? Cage Writer spoke with Griffin at Ultimate Fight Night 18 and he said he weighed 242 pounds at the time. Silva often says he walked around 220-230 pounds.
Iole's story also has Silva's manager Ed Soares going on the record saying that "The Spider" wants a fight against Fedor Emelianenko too. That fight could be at a catch weight. Silva mentioned Michael Bisping, as a legitimate future opponent at middleweight. UFC president Dana White said he's working on another middleweight for Silva "that will blow people's minds."
Who else is on the market? Gegard Mousasi, who is now expressing an interest in moving up to light heavyweight, would be intriguing. That's all down the line. Right now Griffin is on tap and should make for a great fight in August.
- Anderson Silva
- Forrest Griffin