Report: Anderson Silva contemplating vacating middleweight title, move to welterweight to fight Georges St. Pierre

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Chael Sonnen (not pictured) during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Here's one way to solve the 185-pound problem the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is having -- have the champion vacate the title and move down to become a 170-pound problem.

That's apparently a move Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva is considering now that the list of contenders in the weight class he's owned for six years now is less than appetizing. During a recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer revealed a conversation he had with higher ups at the UFC who told him he could reveal a few possibilities that could play themselves out in the future, likely sometime next year.

This is all subject to change, of course, but apparently, "The Spider" is kicking around the notion of vacating the middleweight title and moving down to welterweight to challenge division champion Georges St. Pierre for a superfight we know the promotion is already hoping to put together assuming "Rush" is able to defeat Carlos Condit when they tussle at UFC 154 in November.

That would free up the middleweight strap to a whole host of contenders who would no longer be under the long shadow cast by Silva, the greatest pound-for-pound fighter of all time.

Interestingly enough, that could also be the reason Lyoto Machida came into his UFC on Fox 4 bout against Ryan Bader weighing just 201-pounds. He was a lean, mean ass-kicking machine and his knockout victory was so impressive, he earned a light heavyweight title shot with it.

But he may have his eyes set on the belt Silva currently has around his waist.

Indeed, UFC President Dana White revealed Ed Soares, who manages both Silva and Machida, told the bossman he needed to have a conversation with him over the weekend during the "Shogun vs. Vera" event. That talk never happened so the details aren't available but it's entirely possible, this could be what he wanted to discuss.

Now that Machida has earned a shot at the 205-pound title, plans have either changed or been put on hold. Assuming "The Dragon" loses to Jon Jones in a rematch, or Dan Henderson if he wins the belt at UFC 151 in Las Vegas, that would finally free him up to switch weight classes.

There's no telling whether or not any of that will happen, but it's something to consider.

Plus, as mentioned previously, this is assuming St. Pierre defeats Condit later this year to retain his title to maintain the appeal of a superfight between the two top pound-for-pound fighters on Earth.

It should be noted that it's entirely possible any number of scenarios play out that put a stop to all this talk but with the current climate at middleweight and Silva's unwillingness to move up to light heavyweight, it seems downright logical that he move down for a match-up that would unquestionably be the biggest of all time.

Here's to hoping it happens.

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