Anderson Silva is in a unique spot in his career. Despite slipping in the rankings, he may be a more sought after fight for UFC Middleweights than during his near-seven-year reign as champion.
Many up and coming middleweights, most recently Kelvin Gastelum, are clamoring for a bout with Silva as he’s arguably the most well-known name in the division, but they also likely see it as a winnable fight. But Silva, ever the businessman, understands his position and looks to be calling his own shots.
In a post to his Instagram page, Silva called out two of his former and currently more marketable opponents, Nick Diaz and current UFC Middleweight Champion Michael Bisping. The post reads:
“We are three great professionals, what makes the most sense at the moment, is not his fight with any other, but with me, regardless of belt. Regardless of the show, we respect each other, a new fight between us, would be a great fight of gentlemen. Because with Nick, it was a No Contest, we have a story to tell, I’ll wait for you in Brazil. And I’m waiting for you, Mr. Bisping, after your fight with GSP. Exterminate once and for all this doubt of the fans about who really won.”
Silva fought Diaz in his return bout after missing more than a year of action recovering from his broken leg in a rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 168. Silva won the fight that night by unanimous decision, but the result was ultimately overturned when Silva failed a drug test on fight night, putting him on the shelf for another year. Silva returned to fight Bisping in February 2016 in London, England. They, too, fought to a decision that Bisping won narrowly. It was a fight that saw Silva hurt Bisping badly with a flying knee at the horn; many observers scored the fight for Silva.
While many younger fighters, and perhaps the UFC, have their sights set on Silva as a stepping stone on their way to the top, Silva is looking past that for retribution in big fights against big names.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: There are definitely two schools of thought on how to use a fighter like Sliva. You can use his name – while it still has some value – to hopefully create new stars. These fights may not draw to the peak of Silva’s potential, but it can pay off in the long run by giving the rub to new fighters. The other school of thought is to maximize the potential in a 2017 version of Anderson Silva and book him against other established names in fights that, while it may not move either fighter closer to a title shot or create a new star, can be easily sold to fans as big fights. Silva clearly wants to be used in the latter fashion and make his money while he can. Personally, I’m not interested in seeing Silva vs. Diaz again, as the first fight was nothing special. I would, however, be open to Silva vs. Bisping again once Bisping loses his title or if Silva is able to rack up one or two more convincing wins against top 10 middleweights. Seeing Silva struggle against Derek Brunson last month, despite getting the victory on paper, did little to help his stock and it didn’t do much more for Brunson either.
MONDAY NEWS DIGEST
-Ariel Helwani reported that UFC attempted to rebook Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 210 next month from Buffalo without success. They then tried to make Ferguson vs. Eddie Alvarez for the same card, but the fight also didn’t come through.
Still only 4 fights listed on the UFC 210 PPV graphic. UFC did try to book Ferguson-Khabib & Ferguson-Alvarez for it this week but no luck.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 12, 2017
-UFC has announced Misha Cirkunov vs. Volkan Oezdemir for the Fight Night event from Stockholm, Sweden on May 28.
NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 3/12: Two contrasting performances by aging Brazilian heroes at Fight Night last night (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)