UFC 101: Forrest Griffin vs. Anderson Silva

The MMA world is abuzz today with the news that the August UFC PPV will be co-main evented by UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva moving up to 205 lbs to take a (non-title) fight with former lightheavyweight champion Forrest Griffin.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person who isn't excited by this fight, but surely I'm in the minority. Here's my problems with it:
  • It puts Silva's middleweight title on ice until at least late fall, and more likely until the end of the year. Sure, Silva's coming off two boring fights and needs his marketability rehabbed pronto, but that's no excuse for forcing middleweight contenders to sit on the sidelines, waiting for Silva to defend his belt again.
  • There's no upside to Forrest taking this fight. It's a non-title fight. If Griffin wins, it's not like he's moving down to 185 lbs. to fight Silva for the title. If Griffin loses, it makes it harder for UFC to put him back in the 205 lbs. title picture.
  • There's little upside in Silva taking this fight. If he loses, UFC's beaten their middleweight champion (who really isn't much of a draw at the best of times) with no return match in the offing. In the meantime, he has to then take that loss into a title defence against a long-suffering middleweight contender in, likely, December. If he wins, well, he wins. But will it help his drawing power in the long run?
Frankly, I'm way more excited about the Kenny Florian-BJ Penn match on this show, if only because I want to see Florian take BJ's 155 lbs. title from him.


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