If Anderson Silva did have plans to storm through Michael Bisping this month and leap right into a title fight with Luke Rockhold, the legend certainly isn’t showing it.
Due to Yoel Romero’s recent flag for a potential anti-doping violation, most folks concluded that the UFC was going to move with Rockhold – Chris Weidman II. Before Dana White confirmed this fight was in fact in the works, however, some thought perhaps Silva could jump into the mix (provided he takes out Bisping on February 27th). Obviously that’s not going to happen.
So what does Silva think of the UFC’s decision to give Weidman an immediate shot at Rockhold? Well, recently the Brazilian star spoke to Passando a Guarda, and Silva had this to say about the planned fight (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I think it’s fair,” Silva said. “He was the champion, had good wins on his last fights, defeated tough opponents, and deserves respect from everyone, especially the other middleweights. He deserves this immediate rematch against Rockhold.”
“It was an interesting fight,” Silva added. “Luke put some pressure that Weidman wasn’t used to. We haven’t seen him fight five rounds with quality. It’s hard to talk about this fight or criticize Weidman or Rockhold. They are both great fighters.”
Now yes, there’s no denying that Weidman is a ridiculously tough fighter, and that he’s scored some huge wins (this is the dude who ended the Silva Era after all). “The All American” had won 13 straight prior to facing Rockhold. Weidman boosters also will point out that if not for his ill fated kick attempt at UFC 194, maybe Rockhold wouldn’t have beat him down.
So, from this perspective, sure, Weidman deserves an immediate rematch. But at time when Fabricio Werdum – Cain Velasquez II, Robbie Lawler – Carlos Condit II and Dominick Cruz – TJ Dillashaw II could all happen (yes, Daniel Cormier – Jon Jones II is happening), you have to wonder if the UFC would have gone this route if other options were available.
If you missed it, Rockhold – Weidman II is being targeted for UFC 199 in June.