Anderson Silva hasn’t fared too well in his recent UFC matches. However, the once dominant middleweight is still one of the biggest names in mixed martial arts. And he recently urged UFC President Dana White to set up a high-profile match between him and Conor McGregor.
This would be a catchweight bout, given that Silva normally fights as a middleweight and McGregor fights as a lightweight. McGregor is coming off a loss against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229, where he was trying to reclaim his lightweight belt that was stripped for inactivity.
This fight was marred by a post-fight brawl, which happened due to bad blood that’d been brewing for quite some time between the two camps. McGregor is interested in a rematch with Khabib, but he might not get one immediately.
Can Silva Still Beat the Best?
Silva is undoubtedly one of the best pound for pound fighters in UFC history. At one point, he was consistently at the top of these rankings while holding the middleweight title for seven years from 2006 to 2013.
But as mentioned before, “The Spider” has fallen off his game in recent years. The 43-year-old is no longer considered an elite title contender. Nevertheless, he hasn’t lost the same confidence he had in his prime.
“I’m just waiting. I accept the challenge of Conor,” he told TMZ. “I think Dana needs to think about this.
“It’s two big guys in this sport, two big names. Two big legends and why not? It’s not about money, Conor. It’s about a martial arts challenge.”
What Would Be the Catchweight?
Silva proposes that 180 pounds would be a good compromise between himself and McGregor. This might work for the latter, who usually comes into his lightweight fights quite a bit heavier than 155 pounds after weigh-ins.
“I think 180 [pounds] for me is good. I think for Conor, too. Because that’s a superfight. It’s not about weight class,” Silva explained.
“I don’t believe Conor would win [against Khabib]. Definitely not. In a rematch, I don’t believe that. I believe Conor needs to fight with me. That’s a good fight.”
Will This Fight Happen?
But can mere respect lead to a fight between the two?
Silva would need to pull off a huge win or two before coming into this conversation. He’s no longer the same draw that he was several years ago and is considered on the downside of his career. However, the Spider is also a very skilled fighter who’s still capable of a big win.
The key issue, though, might come down to money. McGregor has made $100 million and $50 million in his last two fights against Floyd Mayweather (boxing) and Khabib, respectively.
He’s not going to fight somebody just because he thinks they’re a legend. And a Silva-McGregor matchup doesn’t seem like it’d generate the same type of pay-per-views as the Mayweather or Nurmagomedov matches.
Another issue is that a McGregor win over Silva wouldn’t further his career. He likely needs a victory over a high-profile opponent to face Khabib again, assuming he doesn’t get a rematch right away.
Regardless, a fight between Silva and McGregor would be entertaining. It just doesn’t seem likely to happen.