Henderson ‘Probably’ Next for Silva; Machida Talk Gets a Little Louder

By Joe Hall Aug 9, 2009
PHILADELPHIA -- Anderson Silva was shaking his head no before the reporter finished his question. Silva was shaking his index finger, too.

The UFC middleweight champion didn’t need his interpreter to tell him that his knockout win Saturday over Forrest Griffin would only crank up the calls for a dream matchup against Lyoto Machida. So as soon as Silva heard “Machida” -- the name of a friend, occasional training partner and UFC 205-pound titleholder -- at the UFC 101 postfight news conference, he began dismissing the possibility of ever fighting him.

Then UFC President Dana White intervened.

“These two are friends,” White said, quick to remark on the matter before Silva. “It has nothing to do with friendship. It’s about who’s the best. It’s about competing against somebody else, no different than a basketball game or a football game. If Anderson gets to that point where he starts taking out 205-pounders, I’ll make that fight. I promise you, I’ll make that fight.”

White turned to Silva and Ed Soares, the Brazilian’s manager and interpreter.

“Go ahead,” he told them, half-jokingly. “What’d you want to say?”

Everyone laughed. Everyone waited.

Silva answered in Portuguese, which Soares translated: “Lyoto’s my friend. He’s my brother, and there’s no way that fight will happen.” There was a pause for laughter and to take account of the gamesmanship between fighter and promoter. “And also not just because (Lyoto’s) my friend. (Lyoto would) be a big problem for me.”

Silva was grinning when he said that last line. Still, it warranted some ohs and aws, which will have to do for now.

Henderson ‘Probably’ Next at 185; Roy Jones Jr. Talk Lingers

A middleweight title defense against Dan Henderson is “probably” next for Silva, according to White.

Wales News Service/Splash News

Roy Jones Jr. vs. Anderson
Silva talk continues to linger.
Henderson is coming off a highlight-reel knockout over Michael Bisping at UFC 100, but judging from facial expressions, Silva didn’t look too interested with the rematch when White mentioned it Saturday night. The Brazilian had joked and teased throughout the postfight news conference; when Henderson was mentioned, Silva wasn’t grinning. He’d rather box Roy Jones Jr., who was reportedly in the audience at UFC 101.

White reiterated that he doesn’t like the Jones Jr. idea.

“I respect boxing,” he said, careful to express his respect for Jones Jr. as well. “I respect the sport of boxing. … I don’t know what would happen if Anderson Silva went in to box Roy Jones Jr. I just don’t see the point. This is MMA; this is what we do.”

Silva, for his part, sat there smiling. Later he frowned and formed a timeout with his hands when more discussion of his next bout came up.

Here was everyone wanting to make his next match, and he wasn’t but an hour or two removed from a masterful performance against a former UFC light heavyweight champion. The talk went on, and Silva dropped his fruitless timeout signal, his hands capable of stopping Forrest Griffin but not speculation on the future of a truly great fighter.
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