After breaking the unbreakable Forrest Griffin at UFC 101, it looks like Anderson Silva's latest foray into the light heavyweight division might be a permanent one.
Silva dismantled Griffin, a former champion, in a manner that we've never seen. As Griffin struggled to find his balance and lunged one desperate whiff after another, it became brutally obvious that he was drowning.
The ridiculously one-sided bout left Silva and his management wondering if it was even worth the champion's time to head back to middleweight. In a report on Yahoo!Sports, Silva's manager Ed Soares told Dana White that he wanted to leave behind his middleweight title and look to larger challenges in the light heavyweight division. White's initial response, according to the article, was positive. "I like that. We can do that," he said.
Admittedly, this move would definitely set up more intriguing fights for "The Spider." As last reported by White, Dan Henderson was next in line to challenge Silva for the belt at 185. Though it may be tough to argue that Hendo doesn't deserve the shot, it's not a fight that people would be tripping over themselves to watch and even fewer would give him a real chance at winning.
A much more reasonable fight for Henderson would be the winner of Nate Marquardt vs. Demian Maia, which could be contested for the championship if Silva were to vacate his seat. It may not be the rematch Hendo has been dreaming of, but something tells me he'll feel better if he gets to strap leather and gold around his waist once more.
That leaves a pool of potential opponents for Silva at light heavy, but they all ultimately lead to the same dead end -Lyoto Machida.
Silva has repeatedly said that he would never fight his close friend and training partner, so as long as Machida remains unbeaten at 205, Silva would live out his fighting days as a stopping point for contenders hopeful of a title shot (and by the way, threatening the validity of Machida's belt in the process).
There's still the option of an opposite move toward Georges St-Pierre, but that's risky business and sets up a whole slew of other potential problems, which is another story for another time.
The best thing for Silva's legacy is to put his long-standing friendship with Machida aside and challenge the world's best light heavyweight. It would be an incredible fight -one that Silva could very possibly loose, but there's one thing I know for sure, "it's better to burn out than to fade away."
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