MELBOURNE, Australia – Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva usually doesn’t do immediate post-fight callouts.
But in the twilight of his career, Silva (34-9 MMA, 17-5 UFC) is switching it up to ask for a rematch with Nick Diaz (26-9 MMA, 7-6 UFC) in his former hometown.
“Maybe I think it makes sense to fight Diaz in Curitiba,” who passed the torch to middleweight star Israel Adesanya (16-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the co-main of Saturday’s UFC 234. “I’m just waiting for (UFC President) Dana (White), because it’s not time to make the decisions. Hopefully, I’ll fight in Curitiba.”
Silva, 43, spent many of his formative years in the Brazilian city while a member of the famed Chute Boxe team. He was scheduled to fight on the card when his promoter visited for UFC 198, but health issues forced him to withdraw.
The UFC is expected to return for UFC 237, which takes place May 11 at Arena da Baixada.
White appeared before Silva at the press conference and was asked about potential opponents. But the name posed was ex-champ Chris Weidman, a matchup that produced one of the most shocking upsets in UFC history.
“Yeah, I’d do that fight again if they both wanted to do it,” White said at the post-fight presser at Rod Laver Arena. “It’s a fun fight.”
A May timeline could be a big ask for Weidman, who recently underwent “unexpected” neck surgery to replace discs in his neck. He’d previously targeted early 2019 for a return before being forced under the knife.
But at the moment, the fact that Silva still plans to compete is something of a surprise. The ex-champ broke into tears at the weigh-ins for the event and seemed ready to ride off into the horizon. He spoke of ongoing pressure from his family to retire at 43.
Despite his fifth loss in seven fights, Silva focused on the positives from his loss to Adesanya.
“I’m feeling happy,” he said. “It’s very difficult to continue fighting in this sport at the same level when you don’t train hard. I train hard to continue at the same level, and tonight, I tried to do the best for myself and my fans, because I love the sport.”
The last time Silva got into the cage with Diaz at UFC 183, it produced a memorable battle between one of the sport’s great virtuosos and one of its most notorious bad boys. Silva earned a decision, but both fighters ultimately were denied a resolution when they failed post-fight drug tests.
For Silva, it was the first time he tested positive for performance-enhancers. The multiple banned substance cast a shadow over his legacy. Diaz, meanwhile, found levels of public support he’d never before seen after the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for five years – for his third marijuana infraction; the outcry led to a steep reduction.
The post-fight drama overshadowed what happened in the cage, and Silva wants a bit of closure. Now all he’ll need to do is convince Diaz to get back in the cage after his longtime friend and teammate said he’s retired; a reported comeback for next month’s UFC 235 was recently called off.
“I think it’s a very interesting fight, because the last fight was a no contest,” Silva said. “I talked to Nick’s manager a couple months ago, and Nick said, ‘OK, let’s go do it. Let’s talk to Dana.’ I’m just waiting for Dana.”
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
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