Anderson Silva Accepts Conor McGregor's Challenge to UFC Fight

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistOctober 20, 2018

Anderson Silva, of Brazil, squats before a middleweight  mixed martial arts bout against Derek Brunson at UFC 208 Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017, in New York.  Silva won the fight. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

If Conor McGregor is looking for a new challenge, 43-year-old Anderson Silva is willing to step inside the Octagon.

Speaking to TMZ Sports, Silva accepted the challenge McGregor issued prior to his fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

"I accept the challenge for Conor," Silva said.

Appearing on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show podcast Oct. 1, McGregor listed Silva among his potential opponents after challenging Nurmagomedov.

"I would be interested in an Anderson Silva bout," McGregor said. "I swear to God. Anderson is a legend in the game. What's the difference between him and Georges [St-Pierre]? Same damn thing. I'm going to do fights that interest me or have meaning."

Silva has consistently said he would be happy to fight McGregor if the former UFC lightweight champion is serious.

"It would be a great honor to test myself for fighting with Conor McGregor," Silva wrote on Instagram (via MMA Junkie's Mike Bohn). "He is an eclectic fighter and has already proven that he has to be respected. Let's make this happen! The UFC wants superfights. I'm sure fans from all four corners of the world want to see this fight."

One potential roadblock is weight. McGregor's highest weight class as a mixed martial artist is welterweight (170 pounds), while Silva has spent the bulk of his career fighting at middleweight (185 pounds).

Silva will be eligible to return from a one-year suspension for failing a drug test in November. He hasn't fought since defeating Derek Brunson at UFC 208 in February 2017.