It goes without saying that Anderson Silva is one of the greatest fighters in the history of MMA, but time isn’t on his side.
Silva lost an entertaining unanimous decision to unbeaten contender Israel Adesanya in the fill-in main event of UFC 234 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia, on Saturday night, but he says he’s not done fighting just yet. And even in defeat, “The Spider” told the assembled media at the post-fight press conference that he’s happy with his performance.
“I’m feeling happy,” Silva said of his first fight in two years. “It’s very difficult to continue to fight in this sport at the same level when you’ve been training hard. I’ve been training hard at the same level. Tonight, I did my best because I love this sport. I worked very hard for the win but I’m very happy with my performance. I worked my entire life this sport. I’m very lucky.”
Silva was bested by the younger, quicker Adesanya and was rocked a few times in the contest from punches to the head. The Brazilian was also hobbled in the third from repeated leg kicks, and Silva was gracious afterward, praising the Nigerian.
“He’s very fast, he’s young,” he said. “We have different styles. But I’m impressed and I had a challenge. For a long time, I didn’t feel any challenge inside the cage, but he gave me a challenge. I am very impressed and I hope he fights for the belt and he wins. He has a great future inside the UFC. I told him to not lose your focus, you have amazing talent and sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.”
Silva was adamant that he was not about to retire but insisted that he wants to fight when the UFC returns to his home city of Curitiba. But his preferred opponent left many on social media scratching their collective heads.
“The last time when I tried to fight in Curitiba and I came off the card,” he stated. “Now I have a chance to fight in my city where everything started. I talked to my team and maybe it makes sense to fight maybe Nick Diaz. I’m just waiting for Dana. Hopefully I will fight in Curitiba.”
But why Diaz?
“I think it’ a very interesting fight because the last fight with me and Nick ended in a no contest,” he said. “I talked to them [Diaz’s team] and they said let’s do it. I’m just waiting on Dana.”
Former double champion Conor McGregor took to Twitter after the Adesanya-Silva fight to give props to “the Spider” and when asked about that possible matchup, Silva was open to it and said the UFC needs more super fights. However, the future Hall of Famer insisted on locking horns with Diaz a second time.
Anderson is one crafty, crafty Martial Artist.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 10, 2019
You only develop these methods through years of hard fought experience.
The crafty veteran. Big respect always.
It would be an honor!