As you might know Anderson Silva has accepted a fight against James Irvin on the July 19th UFN card. This fight will be Silva's first in the light heavyweight division. Silva is the reigning UFC middleweight champion and by many considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. He has recently looked almost unstoppable and finished his last seven opponents within the two first rounds. Considering his dominance, a move up in weight seems natural.
Still, I'm a bit torn on this fight. Last year was dubbed the year of upsets in the MMA community and fans and journalists were wishing for more consistency. Now, here we have Anderson Silva who could really establish a legacy. Of course if he can dominate the light heavyweight division like he has dominated middleweight he will be in the run for all-time best fighter. If his move up is permanent, I would have liked him to take on a more relevant opponent than Irvin and not on short notice. Irvin is not a top ten fighter, but he has big punch which he showed in his last fight, the 8-second(!) knock out of Houston Alexander. In the end I think Silva's superior technique earn him another K.O.
Regardless of the outcome of the fight it might be that this is a one-and-done deal for Silva and that he will return to middleweight. The first contender for his title at middleweight is, in my opinion, Yushin Okami. Okami is the last man to defeat Silva, albeit via disqualification after an illegal kick. See that fight in the end of this post. That fight was at 175 pounds, which is 30 pounds less than the 205-pound limit for the light heavyweight. So it's not like Silva has to move up in weight. Well, the future will tell which way he Silva decides to go.
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami: