Earlier this week Conor McGregor sent out a tweet of his greatest MMA fighters of all time. Anderson Silva came in at No. 1, with McGregor a close second. McGregor added he would dethrone the Brazilian from the top spot by the time his career ended. The challenge was laid down. Surprisingly, Silva responded with a proposed “super fight” and McGregor has accepted.
Anderson Silva’s legacy in the UFC is unmatched
In the eyes of many in the MMA community, Anderson Silva is one of the top fighters in UFC history. The Brazilian debuted in June 2006 and defeated Chris Leben to win the UFC middleweight title. For the next six years, Silva achieved an unprecedented mark successfully defending his title 11 times in a 15-fight win streak.
Silva lost the title in July 2013 in a defeat against Chris Weidman, and has never been the same. He’s lost six of his eight bouts (three by unanimous decision) and had one no contest. Despite his less-than-stellar record in the last few years, his reputation as one of the greatest UFC fighters remains.
With Silva’s legacy established forever; he has nothing to prove. However, he’s a fighter. In his heart, he’s never done. A fight with Conor McGregor would give him another chance to take center stage in the octagon and once again prove his greatness.
Conor McGregor willing to fight anyone
Conor McGregor has had a very successful career in the UFC since he arrived in 2013. Fighting as a featherweight, McGregor won the interim UFC Featherweight Championship in July 2015 and then unified the UFC Featherweight title in December 2015 defeating Jose Aldo in a record-breaking 13 seconds.
McGregor stepped up in weight class his next fight and fought Nate Diaz in the welterweight division. The move up in weight didn’t go as planned for McGregor and Diaz submitted him in the second round with a rear-naked choke. It was McGregor’s first defeat in his eight UFC bouts. The Irishman found redemption five months later in a rematch, defeating Diaz in five rounds on a majority decision.
In November 2016, McGregor dropped back down to the lightweight division where he took on UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez. McGregor won in the second round, claiming his second belt. After being stripped of his belt due to inactivity, McGregor returned to the octagon in 2018 and lost in four rounds by submission to Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC Lightweight Championship.
Following a 15-month layoff, McGregor returned to the octagon in January 2020 where he fought Donald Cerrone in a welterweight bout and won by a first-round TKO.
McGregor and Silva agree to ‘super fight’
Conor McGregor is known for his brash talk. It was no surprise to see the Irish star post on Twitter his rankings of top MMA fighters with Silva atop the rankings and McGregor in second, and claim he would be No. 1 before his career was over. What surprised many is the fact that Silva responded. The Brazilian has regularly been on the receiving end of challenges from potential opponents, but has always responded with silence. This time was different.
Silva called for a “super fight” at 176.37-pounds, which would be a catchweight but is technically in the middleweight class, a weight in which McGregor has never fought.
“I have immense admiration for the great athlete that Conor is and I believe that a super-fight would go down in the history of the sport,” Silva said on Instagram. “Neither of us need to prove anything to anyone. I believe that fans of the UFC and of this sport would like to watch this great martial arts spectacle. It would be fantastic to test my martial arts skills against him.”
On Thursday, Conor McGregor didn’t mince words in his tweet when he wrote: “I accept.”
Now it remains to be seen whether or not the UFC ratifies a match between McGregor and Silva, but if it does, it could potentially be one of the biggest and most-watched fights in the sport’s history.