I called this move immediately after UFC 101: Anderson Silva is no longer interested in the middleweight division, and he’s not going to fight Lyoto Machida. What’s the next best option for challenging himself? Move to the heavyweight division, of course.
Josh Gross has the report:
Anderson Silva wants big-money event fights. And he’s willing to work at heavyweight to make sure they happen.
Prior to Silva’s flooring Forrest Griffin earlier this month in Philadelphia, SI.com confirmed that Silva’s representatives had spoken with Zuffa about the heralded UFC middleweight champion moving up to heavyweight for the first time in his career.
Not only that, they already had an opponent in mind: Frank Mir.
Disinterested by middleweight contenders Nathan Marquardt, Demian Maia and Dan Henderson, and unwilling to fight close friend Lyoto Machida at light heavyweight — where Silva could conceivably knock off challengers and make a disaster out of the UFC’s marquee division — “The Spider” needs new, challenging scenarios to stay motivated. A move to heavyweight would certainly achieve that, and according to Silva’s manager Ed Soares, the UFC was receptive to the idea.
I firmly believe Anderson Silva would be competitive with anyone in the heavyweight division, and that includes Brock Lesnar.
UPDATE: We’ve heard back from Silva’s manager Ed Soares, who says that there is “some truth” to the Gross story about Silva moving to heavyweight, but that Silva never asked to fight Frank Mir and has never even talked about any potential heavyweight opponents.