View Full Version : Wanderlei Silva pushing for addition of super middleweight class at UFC 99


jakkups
03-21-2009, 10:50 AM
Wanderlei Silva pushing for addition of super middleweight class at UFC 99 (http://mmajunkie.com/news/14322/wanderlei-silva-pushing-for-introduction-of-super-middleweight-class.mma)

When Wanderlei Silva (32-9-1 UFC, 2-4 UFC) and Rich Franklin (24-4 MMA, 11-3 MMA) meet in the main event of UFC 99 in June, the 195-pound catchweight bout will feature two of the UFC's most exciting fighters.

But as Silva recently told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio), he hopes the bout serves as more than just an interesting feature.

The Brazilian slugger hopes the bout will be the introduction of a new division to the UFC.

"I talked with (UFC President) Dana (White) three or four events ago, and I said, 'We need to create a new division at 195 (pounds),'" Silva said. "Because for me, my normal weight is 210 or 208 (pounds). For 205, it's not too much (weight to cut). For 185, it's a lot. For 195, it's perfect."

A feared striker, Silva has struggled in recent years. The 32-year-old has earned just one win in his past five fights, and has constantly been the smaller contestant in his matchups.

Silva knows White already has enough on his plate without the addition of a new division. But the former Chute Boxe fighter also believes a 195-pound class could benefit a range of contestants.

"[White] has got a lot of work," Silva said. "There's a lot of divisions, a lot of fighters. But now, maybe this is the first fight and in the future we'll have a new division. (There's) a lot of fighters in my situation."

In recent interviews with MMAjunkie.com Radio, fighters such as Dan Henderson, Renato "Babalu" Sobral and Houston Alexander have all said they walk around just above 205 pounds, but that the cut to 185 pounds is simply too much.

Coupled with the number of massive fighters that currently drop to 205 pounds, Silva believes 195 pounds would be a positive for the sport.

"I think in the future we'll have this division," Silva said. "I think it's a very good division. Guys like Forrest (Griffin) are 230-240 (pounds). For him 205 pounds is good because he's so much stronger."

Promoters can make fights at any weight they choose, but the Association of Boxing Commissions did make allowances for a 195-pound super-middleweight division in their heavily criticized July 2008 revision to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.

Whether the UFC ever chooses to utilize any of the additional weight classes remain to be seen. Silva said he will look for opponents in both the 205-pound and 185-pound class in the interim.

"There's a lot of guys in both divisions," Silva said. "I'll go back and fight again maybe in December. There's a lot of time to have other opponents."

And while "The Axe Murderer" will continue to push for a 195-pound class, Silva has never been one to turn down a fight - at any weight.