Royce Gracie decided to dispute the allegations during an online video interview on May 2009, more than two years after the fact, saying that his weight in the first UFC event was 178 lb and claiming his weight during his Sakuraba fight was 180 lb, thus only gaining 2 pounds.  This was widely disputed by experts as his weight was actually 188 lb for the Sakuraba fight. According to ESPN "Gracie is hardly possessed of an exaggerated physique, but he was clearly more sculpted for his June 2 fight with Kazushi Sakuraba than he was for a May 2006 match with Matt Hughes. In the former contest, he weighed in at 175 pounds; for Sakuraba, he was 188. One may not need to be nutritionist to observe that a muscle gain of 13 pounds in one year at the age of 40 is a strikingly accomplished feat. Athletes nearing the half-century mark are often happy to maintain functional mass, let alone pack it on". 
In his next fight at UFC 73 on July 7, 2007, Silva successfully defended his title against Nate Marquardt , winning by TKO at 4:50 in the first round. Three months later, on October 20, 2007, at UFC 77 , Silva fought a title defense rematch against Rich Franklin, in Franklin's hometown of Cincinnati , Ohio, at the . Bank Arena .  Silva defended his belt by defeating Franklin via TKO in the 2nd round. On March 1, 2008, at UFC 82 Silva fought Pride Middleweight champion Dan Henderson , in a title unification bout (UFC and Pride titles on the line). Henderson was believed to have the edge on the ground, having competed in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics in Greco-Roman wrestling . Silva defended his title by defeating Henderson via rear naked choke in the 2nd round. At UFC Fight Night: Silva vs. Irvin on July 19, 2008, Silva made his debut at Light Heavyweight (205 lb (93 kg)) in a bout against James Irvin . Silva won via KO due to strikes in 1:01 of the first round after catching Irvin's attempted leg kick with his left arm and delivering a straight right that dropped Irvin to the mat, Silva then finished a prone Irvin with a blitz of punches to the head.     Irvin later tested positive for methadone and oxymorphone.