Anderson Silva made a habit of telling the world he doesn't want to fight Brazilians after beating Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 in February 2011. Silva made an exception for Belfort at the time because of Belfort's decision to train with Silva and then join the UFC's middleweight division, which Silva saw as disrespectful.
But Silva will make no more exceptions, telling fans at a Q&A session during a Monday press conference in Rio de Janeiro that he'll quit fighting altogether if the UFC tries to force him into fights with Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza or Lyoto Machida.
"I’m a man with honor. I’d never fight Jacare or Lyoto," Silva said. "I’d even stop fighting just not to fight them."
The Q&A session was held as part of an extensive world tour with Silva and middleweight champion Chris Weidman. Weidman famously defeated Silva by knockout in July, handing him his first UFC loss and ending Silva's run as the sport's pound-for-pound king.
The pair promoted its December 28 rematch at UFC 168 in Las Vegas, which also features a rematch between women's bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey and Miesha Tate.
Silva conceded that both Souza and Machida—a recent entrant into the middleweight ranks after competing solely as a light heavyweight thus far—were approaching title-contender status.
"Jacare is a guy that has been doing a great job and can earn a title shot," Silva said. "Lyoto is a close friend, a great athlete, and we train together, just like Jacare."
The former middleweight champ even intimated that he'd drop his championship—provided, of course, he beats Weidman in the first place—before fighting his friends and countrymen.
"If we get to a point where we’d have to fight, I’d even give up the title."
All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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