MMA legend Anderson Silva is not the fighter he once was. Although to be fair to Silva, “the fighter he once was” ranked as quite possibly the best competitor in the history of the sport, so slack is understandably provided to the Brazilian legend is ample amounts. (Except for maybe USADA testing.) He’s a valued name with crossover appeal, he’ll pick up the phone when the UFC calls last-minute and he’s not quite primed for the Bellator senior circuit just yet. It’s from this spot Silva is making his case to battle Irish belt magnet Conor McGregor in a UFC superfight.
During press for next month’s UFC 208 card in Brooklyn, Silva doubled down on comments he made earlier this month about wanting a catchfight tilt with “dwarf” McGregor. The Spider is pitching this potential Octagon event as something other than a grudge match, which is something a bit different than what the bulk of lined up Conor challengers have presented.
“I’d like to test myself against Conor because he’s an interesting martial artist,” said Silva in a Rio-set media scrum. “His stand-up game is an intelligent game. Not because he’s champion now, but for the martial arts challenge. I’d like to see how these stand-up techniques, his and mine, would mix, and how that would go. But not to fight for a belt or anything like that. For the challenge, an interest, that thing about knowing how a fight like this would go.”
Silva’s game to find a middle ground for appropriate weight requirements, although a scale might not be the biggest obstacle in making this happen. There hasn’t been an Anderson Silva victory inside the Octagon since Obama’s first term in office. Since beating Stephan Bonner at UFC 153, Silva’s suffered a collection of losses, as well as a legacy damaging no contest result versus Nate Diaz after testing positive for drostanolone and androsterone. Factor in a lineup of challengers in multiple weight classes gunning for Conor and his “red panties” paydays and you’ve got a somewhat unlikely scenario in this equation. The gap in weight classes even throws a wrench into opportunities for Silva to pop up as a substitute opponent.
One thing that could help Silva’s cause? A decisive victory over 33-year-old middlewight vet Derek Brunson at UFC 208 on February 11.
(Via MMA Fighting)