Prior to Silva's flooring
Not only that, they already had an opponent in mind:
Disinterested by middleweight contenders
Based on longevity and dominance, the label of MMA's best fighter has arguably belonged to Russian heavyweight
It would indeed be impressive for a former world champion at 167 pounds to climb all the way to heavyweight, where blockbusters against
Beyond legacy issues, which media and fans tend to focus on more than fighters, the move up could drastically improve Silva's paydays, which would increase with the size of his opponents and corresponding pay-per-view numbers.
For all those reasons, I like the move.
Sure, the organization's middleweight division features several threats. But outside of Maia, we've already seen Silva brush most challengers aside. Silva's team argues that Henderson, Marquardt and Maia aren't deserving. They want the Marquardt-Maia winner to fight Henderson to establish a true contender in the division. I don't think it's a terrible idea. There shouldn't be any disagreement that Marquardt or Maia against Henderson would be a perfect bout to use the Nevada option of five-round non-title fights (more on that to come).
Otherwise, the one challenger rarely mentioned these days is
The best bouts might come at light heavyweight -- Silva vs.
"I'm gonna say there's no way they fight," said Soares, who also manages Machida.
What does that leave? Heavyweight.
Who wouldn't want to see whether Silva at his walk-around 215 to 220 pounds is good enough to defeat opponents regardless of weight? Pound for pound personified, I say. A win or two in the division would embolden fans and media with enough hope that Silva could be the one to stop Lesnar.
The pound-for-pound king an underdog? Imagine that.
(Special thanks to e-mailer Jared for the tip.)
As a close observer of state regulators since I began covering MMA more than nine years ago, I've always been impressed by the speed with which Nevada could enact rules changes. Perhaps that had more to do the approach of my home state of California, which works a bit like a tortoise negotiating a minefield, but still, Nevada deserves credit for following through on several changes to its regulations on Wednesday.
I've long been an advocate for five-round non-title main events, especially when championship caliber fighters were in the mix. Actually, I've proposed pushing title fights to seven rounds, but that debate has lost steam over the years. Twenty five minutes should be enough time to resolve a fight. Fifteen minutes? Not really. We're talking clashes between
Now, promoters in Nevada can push a non-title headliner to five rounds, providing world class fighters a real opportunity to finish bouts instead of the inevitable race to a decision. Let's hope other regulators follow suit.
I'm less excited about the prospect of instant replay to check on the validity of an outcome. Depending on how it's used, of course, it can be a great tool. But not all events will be broadcast. What about those? Either way, it'll be a neat experiment.
And finally, the commission took steps towards addressing the GSP-Penn "Greasegate" controversy that followed the pair's January fight. Language now exists that makes the use of foreign substances on the body that "could result in an unfair advantage" illegal. Hard to believe it wasn't before.
I've had the good fortune of appearing on HDNet's "