UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (20-4) and the UFC have reportedly held discussions on Silva moving up to the 205-pound light heavyweight division and making his debut at the new weight at UFC 88 on September 6th in Atlanta.
Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer reported the news late yesterday on the heels of UFC President Dana White’s announcement that former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell would headline the fall event.
Here’s a snip from the report:
They hadn’t decided [Chuck Liddell’s UFC 88 opponent] as of the weekend but Mauricio Shogun Rua wasn’t to be available until December they thought so he was out. They’ll probably make the call after this weekend’s show. He promised an announcement that will blow people’s minds on Thursday. Don’t necessarily read anything into this as being the announcement, but I do know that they have talked with Anderson Silva about being on the card and fighting at light heavy and he wasn’t opposed to it, but there was nothing agreed to as of last week. He said he’s renting out a place on Thursday to tell his employees so in theory this had better be bigger than that.
Silva debuted in the UFC in mid-2006, defeating Chris Leben via first round knockout at UFC Fight Night 5. The sub-one minute win earned “The Spider” a title shot against champion Rich Franklin and Silva capitalized, claiming the 185-pound title with a dominant first-round TKO victory. After defeating Travis Lutter in a non-title fight after Lutter failed to make weight, Silva has defended his title three times, defeating Nate Marquardt, Franklin, and, most-recent, Dan Henderson at UFC 82 in March. Following his win over Henderson, Silva campaigned for a boxing match against former champion Roy Jones Jr. but White has stated that he would not let such a bout take place.
He remains unbeaten in the UFC, winning all six of his bouts in two rounds or less.
There is speculation that Silva’s move to light heavyweight could be to fight Chuck Liddell in the main event of UFC 88, though nothing has yet been confirmed regarding the potential main event matchup.