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Report: Wanderlei Silva moving to middleweight

A new published report indicates that former PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva is about to make a long-rumored move from light heavyweight to middleweight.

According to Franklin McNeil during ESPN’s MMA Live pre-fight UFC 94 coverage on Friday, Silva has decided to drop from the UFC’s stacked 205 pound division in favor of its 185 pound weight class.

Neither the UFC or Silva himself have confirmed the report but the potential move is one that would make sense at this stage of his career.

Silva, 32-9-1, is one of the sport’s greatest fighters to ever compete at light heavyweight. However, the Brazilian native has fallen on hard times recently, losing four out of his last five fights and having been knocked out in three of the four encounters.

The 32-year old Muay Thai specialist holds career victories over Kazushi Sakuraba, Hidehiko Yoshida, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Ricardo Arona, and Dan Henderson. As a middleweight in the UFC, Silva could be involved in potential matchups against the likes of Michael Bisping, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Demian Maia, Nathan Marquardt, and current UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

21 COMMENTS
  • Jason says:

    Long overdue, he shouldn’t have much trouble making the weight. Wont get punished by getting knocked out for making mistakes at MW like he did against Rampage or Hendo.

  • sprewell says:

    Uh, Maia trains with Silva. They’re not fighting eachother.

  • Dayzah says:

    He trains with Griffin also but said he would fight him , im sure Maia is no different.

    I would love too see Wandy vs Marquardt.

  • Dayzah says:

    He trains with Griffin also but said he would fight him , im sure Maia is no different.

    I would love too see Wandy vs Marquardt.

  • bigboy says:

    Very exciting. Wandy will be knocking people out at Middleweight. First fight should be Marquardt, cant stand that punk.

  • Lord Faust says:

    Considering the ridiculous punching power Silva has at LHW, I think he’s going to do very well at MW. It would make my year to see the Axe Murderer annihilate his way through the MW ranks for a showdown with Anderson Silva.

  • CubanLinx69 says:

    i really hope he find success at MW.

  • mike wolfe says:

    I don’t think Silva had a choice. He’s not competitive in theUFC at 205, and moving down sets him up against a new roster of fighters so there will be continued interest in watching him fight. I wonder whether he was told he had to move down or whether he decided to do it on his own.

  • provrorsbarn says:

    I dont like this, Silva looks ripped at 205, this will only hurt him more I think. Skinny silva with no muscles aint fun. And hes a bit old to go down in weight.

  • bruisermoore says:

    he’s gonna have a rough cut, hope he’s worth a damn on fight night.

  • mikemick says:

    I think this is a marketing decision more than anything else. I mean, I truly believe that he can still compete at LHW. With his aggressive style, you leave yourself open to get caught. If it had been him that landed the punch on Rampage’s chin, then all of the sudden he is looking like a top contender. As fortune may have it, that’s not what happened. Now it looks like he can’t compete at the division anymore all of the sudden (funny how that KO of the night against Jardine only one fight ago is easily forgotten). Silva is a big name, and they want to put him in big fights. I think he is too far away from a title shot now in LHW, and the chances of him not getting caught on the way back up the ladder might be slim. So they are trying to get the most bang for their buck. The quickest way to get him in a big fight is to drop him into a seemingly weaker weight division. While this looks great on paper, it doesn’t always work out as expected. I hope the best for Wandy, and I hope he does make it to that Silva vs Silva matchup that we’d all love to see.

    On a sidenote: The most unfortunate part of Silva’s situation was that all of his success was in Pride, and he is now fighting in the UFC for a different fanbase. A lot of the UFC audience doesn’t realize how good he was, and therefore he has been written off too quickly. If he had accomplished the same thing in the UFC, he’d have a place in the LHW division for life. It’s marketing and perception.

  • youKnowIt says:

    To old to go down in weight? I’m sorry but that makes no sense.

    This is a great move for the UFC and Silva. I just hope he starts thinking while he is in the cage. I have seen the circuit training that he goes through and it is impressive. But i would like to see him use that great cardio in the cage. Possibly coming out with some patience and looking to slowly pick his opponent apart.

    Silva can not beat Rich Franklin or Anderson Silva until he starts respecting other fighters abilities and punching power.

  • nonvilent fightfan says:

    I think it will be good for him. LHW is too stacked. MW is anything but stacked. I see him throwing beat downs on everyone except Hendo, Franklin, and Silva. Hendo and Franklin would be competitive, but I do not see anyone in the foreseeable future even posing a challenge to Silva.

  • mc says:

    Wandy Vs Jason Macdonald..make it happen!

  • Rich S. says:

    Trust me, this will be just fine for him..
    I’ve been waiting for him to go MW since he got to the UFC, especially after he lost to Chuck..

    This is the best possible choice he could make in his career right now.. he should’ve done it before he fought Jardine.. oh well, now’s better than never.. They should give him a given for his first bout at MW though..

  • Mikey Gilz says:

    Why do people say that Wandy is old? He’s 32 for christs sake. He’s had a few losses. But look at who he’s lost to. No one in MMA history has a tougher schedule than Silva. If he moves to MW, he’ll have no problem making weight and I think it’s going to be a brutal parade of fights on his way to a title shot.

  • Jesse Denis says:

    I doubt he fights Maia, they train together.

  • rondog6669 says:

    probably fight Eric Shaffer first

  • Hunta says:

    Wanderlei would have been a good opponent to test out how good Bisping really is. But that challenge now goes to Hendo. Hope he gets a fight with Marquardt or maybe even Gouivea

  • htown-chris says:

    this is a good move. now maybe he’ll be able to string together some wins and be dominant so that his move to the ufc will not have been in vane. i jst wish he didnt have to make the move. but now it seem like the smart thing for him to do. silva vs silva would be a nice matchup, considering anderson still has the belt (which i dont see him losing anytime soon), and wandy puts together a few winning fights and climbs the mw ladder.

  • King James says:

    he will do much better at mw. the lhw division champioship is gonna change hands alot. that division is way to stacked. but actually when i think about it, anderson silva, hendo, bisping, marquart & franklin. thats alot of losses.

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