After being turned down by Wanderlei Silva, the UFC called on fellow Brazilian Anderson Silva to make their July 19 card a reality. In what can only be viewed as an attempt to counter program Affliction’s debut card, the UFC will air a live card on Spike TV featuring a light heavyweight match up between Anderson Silva and James Irvin on the same evening that Affliction debuts.
Fightline.com confirmed the fight earlier today with Silva’s training partner and good friend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira who’s confident that the matchup favors Silva.
“Yeah he accepted this fight,” said Nogueira. “He just told me today. It’s gonna be a good fight. (Irvin’s) a pretty good striker. You know, very exciting match…both strikers, but Anderson Silva’s been around. He’s got a lot of confidence in everything he does. He’s gonna beat this guy. He’s good.
Nogueira believes that Silva, who has spent the majority of his carrier at middleweight (185lbs.), is ready to traverse the twenty pound gap between middleweight and light heavyweight (205lbs.) and step up to 205.
“Anderson’s good,” gushed Nogueira. “He’s got a lot of weapons, a lot of things to show. He’s proven his ground and he’s proven his standup. Everytime he steps in the cage he shows up fighting. He’s a big guy, man. He’s almost my size. He’s like 210 now and he’s all muscle so he won’t have a problem at 205. He’s very strong; he works a lot with the weights. He’s much stronger now than the first time I met him. We started training together in 2002. He was like a real 185 then, but now he can be 205 easy. He can fight both 185 and 205. He can switch easy, no problem.”
Dream matchups for Anderson Silva have long included a possible showdown with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Now fans, including Nogueira, may get to see that matchup become a reality in the near future.
“I’d love to see him fight with Rampage,” said Nogueria. “He’s the guy with the belt. You know, Rampage fought against Henderson, you saw it was a very tight match. Anderson beat Henderson too. So it would be a good fight.”
As for Anderson’s future at light heavyweight, Nogueria is certain that another title is in the cards for the popular Brazilian.
“I train with this guy everyday, I know what he’s about. This guy is good. I think he can be the champ…he will be the (light heavyweight) champ. Wait and see.”