Following Michael Bisping's loss at UFC on FX 7 over the weekend, no one seems to know what comes next for UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
The plan was to pit Bisping against Silva later this year if he could get past Vitor Belfort in Brazil, but he instead suffered a TKO loss after a nasty head kick landed in the second round.
So with the UFC's longest reigning champion sitting on the sidelines with no fight on his radar, everyone is wondering what comes next for him?
One possibility comes from former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans, who has previously teased a move down to 185 pounds if the right fight came along. Currently Evans is preparing for his fight against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira at UFC 156, but it's hard to ignore a potential match-up against Anderson Silva in the future.
“Anything's a possibility, but first things first, the only thing that's on my mind is getting past Nogueira. He's a tough competitor and I'm excited to compete against him, so that right there has been taking my focus more than anything,” Evans told MMAWeekly.com on a media conference call on Monday.
A fight against Anderson Silva isn't really the question for Evans. He would gladly accept that tomorrow, but the problem is he's not confident just yet that he'd make 185 pounds comfortably right now. Evans has fought at heavyweight and light heavyweight, and while he does have a smaller frame walking around at five-feet-11-inches tall, he knows a move to middleweight would be a major endeavor on his body.
“It would be a lifestyle change. I'm talking about not just pre-fight stuff, my whole diet year round would have to change. Cause naturally I don't look it, I'm really short and everything else, but naturally my body it goes to 235 (pounds) when I'm consistently not training. So everything I'd have to change about my diet on a daily basis,” said Evans.
“But if an opportunity was there and I felt good to do it, I'd do so. But one reason I decided not to do it was because I was like why would I drop to 185 just to be in the same spot I'm in at 205? It didn't make any sense to me. If an opportunity came along that made more sense then it would be worth the sacrifice. If it was a title shot or against a really good, top contender, something like that, it would be something that people wanted to see, it would be something I would think about.”
The sacrifice would include a huge shift in Evans' daily eating habits, and at 33 years of age, he knows it would be a tough road to travel to make the move to middleweight at this stage of his career.
“It's a big question mark for me,” Evans stated about the move to 185 pounds. “Once I moved past 30, my body started changing a bit. Before it used to seem so easy to make 205, but now I've really got to focus and pay attention to food I put in my body, as well as any nutritional supplements because it (expletive) with my weight. Eating normally now like having a day or two off, I can be like 227 (pounds) without even trying, so I would really have to get a dietician or something, get on the Dolce Diet or something.
“I'm already at the top of my division and for me to go down to 185 is kind of like now I've got to start over and prove myself at 185. Because I am good at 205, but who is to say I'd be the same fighter at 185 when I cut that weight? There's a lot of variables that can come into play.”
When it comes down to the match-up itself, Evans is happy to face a fighter the caliber of Anderson Silva, and as a matter of fact he welcomes it. Evans believes he has the skill set necessary to not only give Silva a run for his money, but he thinks he could be the first fighter to hand him a defeat in the UFC.
“When my career's all said and done, I want to be able to look back and say I competed against some of the best guys ever in history. To me to be able to get a chance to compete against Anderson Silva would just be an amazing experience, and something I'd be able to take with me forever, to be able to say I went against the best guy and beat the best guy,” Evans said.
“I believe I can beat Anderson Silva, and I believe that the skills that I have is something he'd have hard time dealing with, but to compete against the guy, first and foremost, would be an honor in and of itself.”
Now the question remains will Evans actually try to make the move to 185 pounds and challenge Anderson Silva?