Anderson Silva Wants Fight With McGregor

Former middleweight champion and pound-for-pound great Anderson Silva is on the brink of a must-win fight. His last win coming in 2013, Silva faces Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in February. But Silva has his eyes on an opponent that is bigger in name value if substantially smaller in stature: superstar Conor McGregor.

During a media scrum in Brazil, Silva said that he wants to fight McGregor not for the massive payday, but rather to challenge himself against a fellow dynamic striker.

“I’d like to test myself against Conor because he’s an interesting martial artist,” Silva said. “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."

Of course, the biggest roadblock keeping a fight between Silva and McGregor from happening is the weight discrepancy between the two. McGregor has fought most of his career at 145 lbs. and recently captured the lightweight title, though he fought at 170 lbs. for his two bouts with Nate Diaz. Silva has fought the majority of his career at 185 lbs., where he was the long-reigning champion, and competed multiple times at 205 lbs.

Though Silva is the much bigger fighter, he claims he has been able to cut down to the mid-170s and hopes McGregor could meet him there.

“I believe he can make 176, 178 pounds, right? That’s a weight I can get,” said Silva, who mentioned recently that he could get closer to 170 pounds. “We started this work and I got to 174, but we thought it would be better now to do these tests.

"There was no fight booked, we made 174, and master (Rogerio) Camoes said ‘man, you don’t need this, you’re fine, so go back to your division.’ I know I can make 174 now, but my team and my doctor, Marcio Tannure, decided to stay in my division.”

With the 41-year-old Silva rapidly approaching the end of his career, a fight with McGregor is unlikely. But the Irish superstar does call the shots, and if he becomes intrigued by The Spider’s callout, anything can happen.

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