By Lance Pugmire
4:48 PM PDT, July 5, 2013
The way Anderson Silva has ruled the Ultimate Fighting Championship's middleweight division since 2006, a break from the routine would seem to be in order.
Silva (33-4) will seek to successfully defend his belt for the 11th consecutive time when he fights unbeaten challenger Chris Weidman (9-0) Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. But Silva has been unable to strike a deal with the UFC for a super-fight outside his 185-pound weight class.
"There's a lot of things in life I want that I can't have, that's what happens with the UFC as well," Silva, 38, told The Times in a recent interview.
For more than two years UFC President Dana White has discussed staging a catch-weight mega-fight between Brazil's Silva and Canadian welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who has won 11 consecutive fights.
Dominant light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones has also emerged as a possible Silva foe.
But now, on the eve of Silva-Weidman, with St-Pierre locked into a Nov. 16 title defense against Johny Hendricks, and Jones scheduled to fight Alexander Gustafsson on Sept. 21, it's clear nothing super is happening this year.
So are UFC fans being strung along with such talk?
"Nothing's impossible," St-Pierre said. "But there's nothing on the schedule. And I will always focus only on the immediate problem, and the problem right now for me is Johny Hendricks.
". . . A lot of fights are hypothetical, though . . . we can talk about it forever."
White has said the mega-fight could be staged at Cowboys Stadium, a soccer arena in Brazil or even the Los Angeles Coliseum.
"I'm just waiting for the next offer," Silva said when asked if he's committed to never fight outside 185 pounds. "I'm happy in my weight class. I'm not pretentious enough to try to go up to someone's weight class, or down in weight to try to take their belt or challenge them. So we'll leave it at that."
"That big, super-fight needs to be made," White said Friday. "I think we'll be able to do it with Anderson Silva and Jon Jones.
"It's what I want, of course. Why would I string people along, why get people excited about something that's not going to happen? The last thing I want to do is talk smack about boxing not able to produce the best fights, and then do the same thing."
Silva in the past has expressed reluctance to meet the younger, heavier Jones. But White said he believes "both guys want that fight," and White is aiming for it to be Silva's and Jones' first fight of 2014.
That's as long as both men win these next fights.
Weidman, for one, hopes to alter these super-fight plans.
Weidman is a skilled wrestler and is also trained in jujitsu, prompting many UFC fighters to believe an upset by the 29-year-old is likely after Silva's past difficulties with wrestler Chael Sonnen. Weidman is about a 3-1 underdog against Silva.
Weidman said he wouldn't be reluctant to fight another UFC champion.
"I'd do whatever the UFC wants me to do and whatever the fans want to see," Weidman said. "You have a short career. You want to know if you can beat the best."
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times