Conor McGregor (21-3) is just days away from making his long-awaited return to the Octagon against Khabib Nurmagomedov (26-0) for the UFC Lightweight championship, and the former double champion is already laying out plans for his fighting future.
After Anderson Silva (34-8) openly challenged the “dwarf,” McGregor in 2017, it seems as though “Notorious” is finally ready for that superfight. While speaking to ESPN, McGregor mentioned Silva’s name as a possible future opponent, along with a slew of MMA and boxing matchups.
“You know what would be another great one? Anderson Silva,” McGregor said.
“I would be interested in an Anderson Silva bout. I swear to God. Anderson is a legend in the game. What’s the difference between him and Georges (St. Pierre)? Same damn thing. I’m going to do fights that interest me or have meaning.”
Silva didn’t take long to respond, chirping back on Instagram, in a much more respectful manner this time around (English translation via @MMAHistoryToday on Twitter).
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🤔👍🏾🤔👍🏾🤔👍🏾🤔👍🏾🤔 Seria uma grande honra me testar ”lutar” com Conor Mcgregor. Ele é um lutador eclético, e já provou que tem que ser respeitado. Vamos fazer isto acontecer! O UFC quer super lutas, tenho certeza que os fãs dos 4 cantos do mundo querem ver está luta. Eu profissionalmente acredito que seria incrível testar minhas habilidades marciais com um lutador como Conor Mcgregor uma super luta de verdade! Agora ele está focado na sua luta contra Khabib Nurmagomedov, depois dessa luta eu estou pronto para este desafio! Quando e onde ele quiser.
“It would be a great honor to test me “fight” with Conor Mcgregor. He’s an eclectic fighter, and he has proven he has to be respected. Let’s make this happen! The UFC wants super fights, I’m sure fans from the 4 corners of the world want to see is fight. I professionally believe it would be amazing to test my martial arts skills with a fighter like Conor Mcgregor a super real fight! Now He’s focused on his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, after this fight I’m ready for this challenge! When and wherever he wants.”
The 43-year-old Silva hasn’t competed in the UFC since February 2017, when he defeated Derek Brunson via decision. Before that victory, Silva hadn’t won a fight in five outings.
He was pulled from his scheduled fight in November after ingesting a tainted supplement, leading to a one-year suspension. Silva will be eligible to return to the Octagon in about a month, possibly setting up the showdown with McGregor, should he opt to stick with MMA past Saturday’s matchup with Nurmagomedov.
McGregor has just one loss in the last eight years, when he was submitted by Nate Diaz in 2016. Saturday will be his first fight in the UFC since his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather.