Anderson Silva has been out of the spotlight and the news lately while serving a one-year USADA suspension. His name re-entered the MMA consciousness earlier this week, however, when Conor McGregor said in an ESPN.com interview that he has his sights set on the former UFC middleweight champion.
“I would be interested in an Anderson Silva bout,” McGregor said, point blank. “I swear to God. Anderson is a legend in the game. What’s the difference between him and Georges (St-Pierre, who McGregor was also asked about fighting)? Same damn thing. I’m going to do fights that interest me or have meaning.”
A McGregor-Silva fight would certainly have meaning as unlikely as it seems. Silva, whose suspension is up in November, is also at a point where his fights need to be meaningful. He took to Instagram today to respond to McGregor’s challenge (translation via MMA Junkie).
Along with a doctored image of Silva and McGregor facing off, Silva said “It would be a great honor to test myself for “fighting” with Conor McGregor. He is an eclectic fighter, and has already proven that he has to be respected. Let’s make this happen! The UFC wants super fights, I’m sure fans from all 4 corners of the world want to see this fight. I professionally believe it would be awesome to test my martial skills with a fighter like Conor Mcgregor a real super fight! Now he is focused on his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, after this fight I am ready for this challenge! When and wherever he wants.”
On its surface, this fight seems like a longshot at best, but this is Conor McGregor and crazier things have happened. McGregor still has Khabib Nurmagomedov to worry about this weekend at UFC 229, but it’s always wise to have something lined up for the future.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: If this is the fight McGregor wants then he’s going to get it. McGregor always aims high when he sets his goals so it’s really no surprise that he would want to face Anderson Silva. It’s absurd to think that a former middleweight champion who has fought and excelled at light heavyweight would fight a former featherweight, but this is Conor McGregor and this is UFC in 2018. From a practical perspective, I’m not sure what weight they would fight at. I can’t see Silva cutting any lower than 180. Conor would be giving up a lot of size, but hey, I’d watch that fight.