Anderson Silva (34-8) has won just one fight in his last six bouts, but apparently, “The Spider” may be gearing up for a title fight.
Silva has recently called out the likes of Conor McGregor and Georges St. Pierre in hopes of drawing the MMA legends into a super fight, but instead, he’ll settle for unbeaten middleweight contender Israel Adesanya on Feb. 9 at UFC 234.
The 43-year-old Silva called Adesanya the “future of the sport” in an interview with ESPN, but his reasoning for accepting the fight has nothing to do with helping the up-and-comer along in his UFC journey. Silva noted in the interview that he’s been promised a title fight against the winner of the Robert Whittaker-Kevin Gastelum bout at the Melbourne, Australia event.
“Dana came to Los Angeles to talk to me,” Silva said, per the report. “I said to him, ‘Why am I going to take this fight?’ And Dana said, ‘You know, you win this fight, you go to the title belt.'”
During the interview, Silva swiped at GSP, calling him a great fighter, but said the former champ “never takes the real challenges in life.” He also floated the idea of a potential bout against McGregor, one that fans wouldn’t have to wait long for if Silva takes down Adesanya.
“At first, I talked to Dana about a fight with McGregor, because McGregor challenged me,” Silva said. “Maybe that will be my second fight after this layoff. We’ll see.”
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 relatively ugly outings. He was pulled from his scheduled fight in November after ingesting a tainted supplement, leading to a one-year suspension.
Adesanya is 15-0 with his signature victory thus far coming in a first-round TKO against Brunson at UFC 230.