While nothing is official — let’s make that very, very clear — Conor McGregor has said yes to a fight with Anderson Silva.
On Wednesday, “The Spider” himself — one of the greatest athletes to compete in UFC history, and a former long-time middleweight champion in the promotion — said he wanted a shot at McGregor.
Writing on his Instagram account, Silva said that “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!!”
Silva also suggested that the super-fight come at an 80kg (176lb) catchweight.
On Thursday, McGregor took to social media to accept the fight.
I accept. https://t.co/HYqF132EvZ
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) May 28, 2020
Of course, that doesn’t mean the fight is happening. The 45-year old Silva (34-10, 1NC) has lost his last two fights, and four of his last five. His lone win in that span came against Derek Brunson, in a fight that could have gone either way. Silva’s last outing saw him fall to Jared Cannonier, although he appeared to endure a leg injury in the bout. That was May 11, 2019.
Silva has indicated he plans to continue his career, however. He has officially won just a single fight since 2012, although an initial win over Nick Diaz in 2015 was overturned to a No Contest due to a drug test failure.
McGregor (22-4), a former featherweight and lightweight champion in the UFC and the first man to hold two belts simultaneously in the promotion, last fought in January at UFC 246. There, he finished Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in all of forty seconds, winning the fight by TKO.
The Irish star has always been quick to accept big match-ups, especially on social media, and earned a reputation early on for always saying yes to fights, including short-notice match-ups with Chad Mendes and Nate Diaz. However, whether the UFC wants to pit its biggest star against an aging legend, at a time when fans cannot attend fights, is questionable.