It came out a few days ago that Anderson Silva informed the UFC of his decision to get elbow surgery, and that he would be out until early 2010. A new report from Kevin Iole casts doubt on this story. In his weekly mailbag, in response to a question about a potential Couture-Silva superfight, Iole dropped this bombshell:
I spoke to Ed Soares, Silva's manager, and contrary to published reports, Silva has not had surgery on his elbow and is not in any way incapable of fighting in November if he's offered a fight. Soares said he hasn't spoken to Silva about fighting Couture yet, and stressed that such a fight has never been discussed with the UFC. But he did say, "Anderson wants to fight the biggest and the best fighters out there and Randy Couture falls into that category. After Anderson saw the way he fought Rodrigo Nogueira, he said he became an even bigger Randy Couture fan."
I assume we'll get the surgery issue cleared up in a few days. Perhaps it was just a case of wrong information, or perhaps Anderson didn't want to fight overseas? I don't know the answer, and even the latter explanation doesn't really make sense. If he really is healthy, I suspect they are saving Anderson for the New Year's show, and can't afford to give away another main event in November.
The prospect of a Randy Couture fight is absolutely frightening and intriguing at the same time, and it may be the kind of big gun they're willing to pull out if Rampage and Rashad are delayed for longer than expected. Couture would be (at least) a +400 underdog, but then again, maybe that's the best way to sell a Randy fight. I heard him on Sherdog radio on Wednesday saying he wants to fight Anderson Silva.
Another interesting theory is they're holding Anderson out to fight on a rumored "unannounced" card that they supposedly intend to put up against Fedor Emelianenko's Strikeforce debut. Is it possible that BJ Penn moving to December 12th had nothing to do with the death of a network deal, and that Anderson will main event the extra rumored show? If Anderson really is healthy it really makes you wonder what is going on.