There has been a lot of speculation about how Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva would do fighting up in the 205-pound weight class. Some of those questions, and a few more that were posed, were answered on Saturday night in Las Vegas as Silva disposed of James Irvin in the first minute of the first round of their light heavyweight showdown at UFC Fight Night 14.
Though Silva proved that he has what it takes to fight at 205 pounds, his immediate plans don't include another light heavyweight bout. Instead, he has plans to go back to middleweight and defend his title belt.
Even as the fight with Irvin was first announced, UFC President Dana White said that Silva would be making a quick stop at 205 and then defend his belt on Sept. 6 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship stops in Atlanta for the first time.
"Anderson Silva, being the monster that he is, you all know is going to move up to 205 on July 19... If everything goes well, he wants to move back to 185 and fight Sept. 6 in Atlanta, probably against Yushin Okami, then he wants to fight again two months later," said White at the time.
But even the best-laid plans sometimes hit a snag, and so has Silva's planned title defense at UFC 88 in Georgia.
"Okami's out of that fight. He broke his hand. If (Silva) fights in September it'll be (Patrick) Cote," stated White at Saturday night's post-fight press conference at the Palms in Las Vegas.
Cote recently solidified his spot in the queue of fighters waiting for a shot at Silva when he defeated Ricardo Almeida on July 5 at UFC 86.
"(Silva) said he wants to defend his 185-pound title. He said he wants to test the waters at 205. He did (on Saturday night)," continued White. "He's going to defend his title again in September and then probably try to take another fight at 205.
"I think he wants to take his time. I think he wants to stay at 185 and completely clean out that division, go from there."
Silva's ambition puts him on task to fight at least two more times this year after already having fought twice earlier in 2008. It's something that White admires about his champion.
"(Silva) took the fight (with Irvin) on short notice, moved up to 205, wants to fight all the best guys in the world at 185 pounds, wants to fight all the best guys at 205 pounds, wants to fight every three months... uh, yah. It's a little difficult for us to move things around, but when a guy has that mentality... I love it."