is the best middleweight in MMA by a large margin, but I think he's more than that: I think Silva is the best light heavyweight in MMA as well.
For all the talent that the UFC's light heavyweight division has, I believe that if Silva, the middleweight champion, moved up to light heavyweight permanently, he would be the champion there. The top light heavyweights -- Rashad Evans
, Lyoto Machida
, Rampage Jackson
-- could all give Silva a tough test, but I'd pick Silva to beat any of them.
Currently, Silva is 1-0 as a UFC light heavyweight, having dispatched James Irvin
by first-round TKO last summer. But will we ever get the opportunity to find out how Silva would do if he made the move to 205 permanently? Silva is open to it. On a conference call today to promote Silva's upcoming middleweight title fight with Thales Leites
at UFC 97
, Silva made clear that while all his focus now is on defending his middleweight belt, he'd be willing to make the move from 185 pounds to 205 if that's what the UFC asked him to do.
"I would definitely love to step up and fight again at 205," Silva said. "Of course, that's going to depend on the results after April 18, and it's also going to depend on Dana White
. At the end of the day he makes the calls on that type of stuff. But as far as fighting at 205 I would love the opportunity to fight there again. As for right now, I'm focused on April 18."
Although there's talk that Silva will fight Demian Maia at UFC 102
, I'd personally prefer to see Silva vacate the middleweight belt and test himself at light heavyweight. I hope Dana White sees things the same way.