Anderson Silva has a homecoming fight in his sights and there are a couple of big names he’d love to welcome to Brazil.
Though “The Spider” failed to become the first man to beat rising star Israel Adesanya in Saturday’s main event at UFC 234 in Melbourne, Australia, he went three rounds with an opponent 14 years his junior and occasionally showed flashes of the fighter who seemed invincible during his reign as middleweight champion from 2006-2013.
At the evening’s post-fight press conference, Silva laughed when asked if he was thinking of retiring on a loss, and insisted that all he’s thinking about next is fighting in the UFC’s upcoming show on May 11 in Curitiba, his hometown. He also named Nick Diaz as a potential opponent.
Silva’s most recent opportunity to fight in Curitiba was in May 2016, when he was scheduled to fight Uriah Hall at UFC 198. An injury forced him to withdraw and fighting there again is still his goal.
“Because the last time when I tried to fight in Curitiba, I had problems and I take the surgery very fast, and I [withdrew from] the card,” Silva said. “Now I have a chance to fight in my city when everything city, where everything started. I talked to (Silva’s manager) Ed (Soares) and I talked to my team and maybe I think it makes sense, a fight with me and Nick Diaz in Curitiba. Let’s go see. It’s just waiting for (UFC president) Dana (White) because it’s not time to make decisions. Hopefully, I fight in Curitiba.”
Should Silva and Diaz fight, it would be a rematch of their UFC 183 main event encounter four years ago that Silva won by unanimous decision. However, the result of that bout was later overturned to a no contest when Silva tested positive for anabolic steroids and Diaz tested positive for marijuana.
Wanting to get that fight back on the record books is reason enough for Silva to step into the Octagon with Diaz again.
“I think it’s a very interesting fight because the last fight with me and Nick is a no contest,” Silva said. “I talked to Nick’s manager a couple of months ago about this fight and Nick say, ‘Okay, let’s go do it. Let’s go talk to Dana and let’s go do it.’”
Silva said several times that any decision on his next fight can only be made after he’s had time to sit down and talk with White. That hasn’t stopped UFC star Conor McGregor from lobbying for a possible fight anyway.
The former lightweight and featherweight champion tweeted out a compliment for Silva following the conclusion of UFC 234 and implied that “it would be an honor” to someday fight him.
Anderson is one crafty, crafty Martial Artist.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 10, 2019
You only develop these methods through years of hard fought experience.
The crafty veteran. Big respect always.
It would be an honor!
McGregor and Silva have both mentioned fighting each other before, despite the fact that McGregor has never competed at a weight heavier than 170 pounds in the UFC and Silva’s days of dropping below 185 pounds are long behind him. Still, Silva didn’t rule out McGregor’s name when the tweet was brought to his attention.
“First of all, I respect the champ; second, I think at this point in my career and in Conor’s career, it’s very interesting doing something special for the fans,” Silva said. “I think the superfight, me and Conor, is very interesting. Let’s go see, the future inside the UFC is very interesting because everything changes fast. But I’m ready to fight again soon.”
Asked which fight was more appealing, McGregor or Diaz, Silva said both were “great” and that what is most important is doing “something special in Curitiba.”
Reacting live to Silva’s post-fight press conference comments about Nick Diaz as they happened, McGregor seemed to acknowledge that the fight made sense and proposed they make it a Diaz brothers double bill with Nick fighting Silva and McGregor completing a trilogy with his rival Nate.