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Size Is Not The Reason For Wanderlei Silva's Move To MW

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The rumors have been swirling constantly about Wanderlei Silva's possible move to the UFC MW division since being KO'ed by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 92. First of all, I do agree that Silva needs to move to the middleweight division to prolong his career. However, I do not attribute his 'size' as one of the primary reasons as to why he should do so. The primary reason why Silva should make the move to the middleweight division is his style of 'striking'.

Silva is arguably the most feared fighter in the game, and has been beating guys bigger than himself his whole career. I mean he knocked out a legitimate HW in Kazuyuki Fujita(who has a granite chin) for Christ's sake! However, the reason he has been on the losing side in 4 out of his last 5 fights doesn't have anything to do with his size. It's the very thing I pointed out last week in the evolution of striking piece. Wanderlei Silva simply has not evolved his striking game over time, as he continues to throw big looping punches just as he did in PRIDE. The days of him dominating guys with good striking games are over. Fighters now understand that throwing punches right down the middle will beat the big looping punches to their mark every time. The UFC LHW division is filled with decent to very good strikers, whereas the middleweight division consists primarily of grapplers. Silva is tailor made to beat those type of fighters because he's got good enough take down defense and BJJ to nullify their offenses.

Almost every loss Silva has suffered has been a result of someone exploiting his wild striking style, or taking him down and keeping him there. There's no one in the UFC middleweight division that can take him down and keep him there. There are a couple of fighters that can exploit his wild striking. However, the UFC will be careful to steer clear of those fighters for the first couple of fights to build him back up at bit. It's not clear if Rich Franklin or Dan Henderson will return to the middleweight division at the moment. So the UFC can fast track him into title contention if they wish to do so. Silva has a large following and I'm sure the UFC will want to take advantage of that for as long as they can.

I don't think Silva can become the middleweight champion, not as long as Anderson Silva is the champ anyways. However, I do think he can stretch his career out just a bit longer by making this move due to the type of fights he'll be engaged in as a middleweight.