Anderson Silva has gone from the best pound for pound fighter on the planet, moving up in weight for challenges at heavier weight, to calling out a fighter that holds the featherweight title, a full 3 weight classes below the former middleweight kingpin.
Conor McGregor, meanwhile, has remained the most polarizing fighter in the UFC despite a submission loss to Nate Diaz at UFC 196. The featherweight title holder has received a rematch with Diaz for UFC 200. Regardless of the outcome of the rematch, his next fight will be a title defense against the interim champion, to be determined by the outcome of the newly announced Jose Aldo-Frankie Edgar match up, also slated for UFC 200.
Silva will next face Uriah Hall at UFC 198 after dropping a controversial decision loss to Michael Bisping at UFC Fight Night 83. The Brazilian had this to say about Bisping, Diaz, and McGregor in an interview with Combate:
“It’s a challenge that I would like to accomplish. I never asked anyone to face, never asked to fight with anyone, but it is a challenge that would like to have, to test my martial skill against McGregor.Like that of a rematch against Nick Diaz and against Michael Bisping. I think McGregor is a great fighter standing in the last fight he did not fight very well because just getting into the game Nate Diaz, and is a very difficult challenge, they (the Diaz brothers) have a lot of gas standing. Have to respect the loss to Diaz does not diminish his career, but they are opponents that would like to test my skills: McGregor, Nick Diaz, and again against Michael Bisping, because the fight ended in a way that does not was nice.”
Anderson Silva clearly wants to get back on track. At 40 years old, Silva may only have a few fights left. Having missed out on rumored super fights in the past against former champions Georges St. Pierre and Jon Jones, The Spider may be looking for the biggest fights possible entering the twilight of his career.
The weight difference would likely be too much of a factor for McGregor to overcome against Silva, but we have seen many fighters in the past jump up multiple weight classes. Case in point; BJ Penn facing Lyoto Machida at light heavyweight in 2005. Regardless of Silva’s challenge, the stars would have to align perfectly for this fight to happen. A rematch with Bisping or Diaz is more likely for The Spider, and it is hard to believe that Mystic Mac would fight anywhere above 170 lbs.