A legendary fighter and former UFC middleweight champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, has revealed that he and Conor “Notorious” McGregor had agreed to a superfight in 2019, however the match ultimately fell through. The 45-year-old Brazilian recently spoke with Combate and said that although the parties agreed, “something happened” and the fight never came to fruition.
The Spider said (as transcribed by Sherdog): “UFC owes me a superfight by contract. Conor [McGregor] called me out right after my fight with [Israel] Adesanya. Our team talked to his team and we agreed upon a bout at [170 pounds], but something happened and UFC decided to not make it.”
Instead of fighting McGregor after Adesanya, Silva took on Jared Cannonier in May 2019 and lost the bout by TKO. A year after the loss, Notorious and The Spider once again had each other in their crosshairs.
In May, Silva took to Instagram and challenged McGregor to a 176.37-pound superfight. Silva wrote:
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, 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!!
Notorious replied on Twitter to The Spider’s callout, simply writing, “I accept.”
The match never materialized, however, and Notorious announced his retirement from the sport in June.
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McGregor Said That Fighting Silva Was Not a ‘Rewardable Fight’
After McGregor announced his retirement in June, the Irishman spoke with ESPN about the potential fight with Silva. Notorious said he was initially excited for the bout but later felt like it wasn’t “a rewardable fight.”
He said, “When the Anderson one came along, I was like, yeah, s***, that’s a mad fight. And then everyone said he’s old and over the hill. I was, like, ‘What? Fighting a former light heavyweight and the middleweight GOAT, and the actual GOAT in my eyes, that’s not a rewardable fight?’ And you know, you’re actually right. It wouldn’t be rewarded. I would go in there and put him away, Ariel, and then what would happen? They’d say he’s old and he’s over the hill and he’s past his prime and all.”
Silva Also Accepted a Challenge From Anthony Pettis on Social Media in June
The Spider has been linked to another notable name, former lightweight champion Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. In June, Showtime challenged Silva on social media to a middleweight clash and the Brazilian replied, “This is great my friend let’s do it.”
Silva told Combate, “Anthony Pettis proposed that superfight, and I liked it because he was already a champion who has impressive knockouts. Of course, it would be a great superfight.”
“At this point of my career and for all my legacy it doesn’t make any sense to face new talents that are entering the game now,” The Spider continued. “I don’t want to be a ‘step’ for the new generation. I want to face relevant champions for the sport. And definitely Pettis is a great challenge that will make me train a lot.”
A fight between the two former champions has not been announced by the promotion. The Spider is currently training to make his return to the Octagon later in 2020 or early in 2021, according to Sherdog.