There was a time, oh not so long ago really, when publicly stating you would beat down Anderson Silva if you fought, would be met with a chorus of scoffs, gasps, and possibly some big checks –see Chael Sonnen. But now in 2016, perhaps that’s not the case so much? Well, the big pay day is likely still there.
In the last couple of years, Silva’s reign as middleweight champ has ended, and he just completed a suspension for PEDs. So, while he’s still widely regarded as a legend, understandably, “The Spider’s” stock isn’t as high as it once was.
There have been several signs to indicate that the new middleweight king, Luke Rockhold, will face Chris Weidman in an immediate rematch. But, let’s not forget, that Silva is set to face Michael Bisping on February 27th. If the 40 year-old star can score an impressive win, or even if Silva wins in a non-controversial fashion, will the UFC look at handing him a title shot? Do the Reebok uniforms need an overhaul? You know the answer to both those questions.
Well, since Silva is lurking in the wings, Rockhold was recently asked about the possibility of facing the former champ, while speaking to FOX Sports. Here is what the champ had to say (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I think Silva’s got to go prove himself,” Rockhold said. “He’s got a fight coming up [Feb. 27 with Michael Bisping] so we’ll see. I’ve always wanted to fight the guy. It would be an honor to beat him up. I think Weidman gave him a shot, beat him up twice and ended up proving himself. Unfortunately it looks like I’m going to have to beat up [Weidman] again.”
There you have it. Would Rockhold have phrased that the same way back in 2012? Probably not (or maybe he did?).
This aside, it will be fascinating to see what unfolds at 185 in the coming months. It certainly doesn’t seem like there’s a ton of buzz behind Rockhold -Weidman II at this juncture, and that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be an intriguing fight. But don’t be shocked if Silva starches Bisping later this month, if the UFC elects to wait and go with Rockhold – Silva first (now that this is written of course, look for Rockhold – Weidman II to get announced within the hour…).