They are two of the most storied fighters in MMA. One was a swirling whirlwind of destruction and the greatest middleweight in the history of the sport. Failed drug tests aside, Anderson Silva is still a legend and continues to fight to this day, even at the age of 45.
Meanwhile, Conor McGregor was the first man to hold two UFC titles at the same time. He’s fought at three weight classes and has the fastest knockout in UFC title fight history. Love him or loath him, his impact upon the sport is like nobody else’s.
Now the two men are linked to a fight. It may never happen but it’s fun to imagine. Who do you think would win this potential match-up?
Silva says he has a deep respect for McGregor and called him out. In short, he wants to fight him at 176 pounds. This would be a catchweight because obviously the UFC doesn’t have this division. Bookmakers have already created odds for the potential match-up with Silva coming in as a slight favorite. He wrote on Instagram:
“I have an immense admiration for the great athlete Conor and I believe that a super fight would be something historic for the sport, neither of us need to prove anything to anyone; i believe ufc and sport fans would like to see this great martial show, testing my martial skills with him would be fantastic!!”
I accept. https://t.co/HYqF132EvZ
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 28, 2020
It didn’t take McGregor long to respond. He came back on Twitter and he accepted the fight. It’s highly likely that it will happen so that’s easy for him to do. But in the event that it did, he clearly fancies his chances against the Brazilian legend. The Spider has only won one out of his last eight fights (with one no-contest).
However, the fact remains that he has fought as heavy as light-heavyweight as recently as 2016 when he lost to Daniel Cormier. Meanwhile, The Notorious is a former featherweight champion. For those of you who are bad at math, that’s literally a 60lb difference. Size matters and that’s why the UFC will be reluctant to make this fight.
The other thing is that Silva is 45. Does McGregor really have anything to gain from this match-up? If he wins, the narrative will be that he beat an old washed-up opponent. If he loses, then that’s a dent to his image.
Uncle Dana made it very clear that McGregor definitely won’t fight Kamaru Usman. It would be his opportunity to fight for his third title. This would be unprecedented in the UFC. Ali Abdelaziz invited McGregor to fight the welterweight champion, however, White is refusing to sanction the bout.
“Listen, the next title fight for Usman is going to be one of these guys — it’s gonna be Colby, Masvidal, Edwards,” White told ESPN on Wednesday. “It’s going to be one of those guys. It’s not gonna be Conor McGregor.”
Of course, that makes sense. In the real world, Masvidal should be the number one contender. It’s bizarre that that fight hasn’t been made yet, but when has anything run smoothly in the world of MMA. To sum up, on paper, Usman is one of the worst possible match-ups for McGregor on the roster.