Anderson Silva Says Conor McGregor Should Fight Manny Pacquiao

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2020

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

Ahead of what could be the final UFC fight of his Hall of Fame career Saturday, Anderson Silva said that Conor McGregor should fight legendary boxer Manny Pacquiao.

According to TMZ Sports, Silva said: "I think for Conor right now, the best fight is with Manny Pacquiao. For business, I think the best fight for Conor is to take the fight with Manny Pacquiao."

Last month, McGregor tweeted that he would be facing Pacquiao in a boxing match in the Middle East, although he didn't provide any further details:

If that fight does happen, it would mark McGregor's second high-profile boxing match, as he previously fought Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017.

After McGregor announced his intention to fight Pacquiao, his manager expanded on the situation. Per ESPN's Ariel Helwani, Audie Attar said the plan would be for McGregor and Pacquiao to fight in December or January, with McGregor then returning to the UFC in 2021.

That may no longer be on the table, though, as McGregor tweeted this month that he will fight Dustin Poirier in January for the UFC instead:

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A fight with Poirier would be more in McGregor's element, but it wouldn't move the needle like a boxing match against Pacquiao, especially since McGregor has already fought and beaten Poirier before.

Silva suggested that fighting Pacquiao would be the best financial move for McGregor considering how well he made out financially when he faced Mayweather.

Per Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes, McGregor made roughly $85 million by fighting Mayweather, which is far more than he ever made in a UFC fight.

McGregor may not make quite as much against Pacquiao as he did against Mayweather, but one can only assume that his earnings would once again dwarf any MMA fight because of the novelty and the interest it would generate on pay-per-view.

Following Khabib Nurmagomedov's retirement after beating Justin Gaethje to improve to 29-0 last week, the UFC lightweight title is up for grabs, and McGregor is among the primary contenders along with Poirier, Gaethje and Tony Ferguson.

If winning the UFC lightweight title is something of great importance to McGregor, then fighting and beating Poirier would go a long way toward helping him accomplish that.

If making money is his No. 1 priority, though, Silva is likely right about no other fight having more earning potential for McGregor right now than Pacquiao.

The 45-year-old Silva may put a wrap on his illustrious career Saturday when he faces Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 181 on Saturday.