From 145 pounds all the way up to 185 pounds, fighters in four different weight classes continue to call out Conor McGregor for a fight inside the octagon. However, these challenges aren’t just limited to current champions and title contenders. In fact, they also include legends of the sport.
One such legend who’s looking to step inside the cage with McGregor is Anderson Silva. Considered to be one of the greatest MMA fighters of all-time, Silva has had issues with McGregor for a few years now and he’s ramped up his efforts in persuading “Notorious” to a fight.
At first, this challenge seemed to be just another example in a long line of fighters looking for the spotlight and paycheck with McGregor. However, as time has gone on, this matchup has actually gained some momentum and is being discussed by many MMA pundits, fans and outlets.
Furthermore, it appears that both fighters are in agreement to make this matchup happen. UFC betting sites certainly feel there’s a chance that this super-fight takes place as they’ve released odds for this potential big money showdown.
Let’s step inside the betting octagon to examine these odds, make some predictions, and see how this entire “feud” even came about.
For casual fans, they might think that Anderson Silva is calling out Conor McGregor just for a massive payday and another chance to main event a PPV. While those factors are certainly a part of it, Silva’s challenge of McGregor actually has more history to it that stems back to over five years ago.
In 2015, Conor McGregor was on the rise and about to challenge Jose Aldo for the featherweight title. As we all know by now, McGregor was relentless in his comments toward Aldo and the champ’s home country of Brazil.
Anderson Silva, a Brazilian who considers Aldo like a brother, really took offense to what McGregor was saying about his friend and country. Silva was very adamant that Aldo would beat McGregor whenever they faced off and even begged Aldo to beat up Conor:
“Jose Aldo already said what we needed to hear. We have the king, the prince and the joker. Enough said. I think (McGregor) is a cool guy, but Jose Aldo is way cooler than him. I’m Jose Aldo’s brother, I’m with Jose Aldo until I die. Beat him up a lot, Jose Aldo. Please, beat him up a lot.”
In addition to begging his friend to beat up Aldo, Silva would publicly declare that McGregor had no chance against Aldo in a fight.
In December 2015, at UFC 194, McGregor handed Jose Aldo the worse loss of his illustrious career as Conor knocked out the champ in 13 seconds.
Since then, Aldo has lobbied for a rematch that he believed was owed to him in 2016. Unfortunately, the UFC never gave Aldo that chance as McGregor’s stock skyrocketed and he went on to fight Nate Diaz twice, Eddie Alvarez for a belt, a boxing match vs Floyd Mayweather Jr. in 2017, and then the whole Khabib rivalry.
Following Conor’s loss to Nurmagomedov in October 2018, Aldo took to social media and said that it was time for a rematch between the two. Once again, the UFC shot down that possibility as McGregor stepped away from the octagon until his return in January 2020 against Cerrone, which he won in less than a minute.
Since his loss to McGregor, Aldo has gone 3-4 overall with losses to Max Holloway twice, Alexander Volkanovski, and Marlon Moraes. His stock has dropped and it seems nearly impossible that one of the greatest featherweights of all-time will get that rematch with McGregor now.
Silva Reignites Talks of a Fight With McGregor
Fast forward to 2020, Anderson Silva hasn’t forgotten about the past issues he’s had with McGregor. Although he respects McGregor’s abilities inside the octagon, Silva really wants to close out his career in style and there’s no bigger fight for him than a catch-weight bout against McGregor.
Silva took to social media once again and laid out the challenge for a fight with McGregor at a weight of 176.37 pounds:
“I have a huge admiration for the great athlete that Conor is and I believe this superfight would be something historic for the sport, neither of us has anything else to prove. I believe UFC and (MMA) fans would like to watch this great martial spectacle, testing my martial skills against him would be fantastic.”
McGregor didn’t hesitate to respond to this challenge. He simply said in the tweet below: “I accept.”
The following betting odds are courtesy of Bovada:
Conor McGregor (-105)
Anderson Silva (-125)
Upon the news that these two fighters publicly agreed to a bout, MMA betting sites released odds on the potential showdown and have Anderson Silva listed as a betting favorite with odds ranging from -125 to -150. McGregor is an underdog listed at a range of -105 to +130.
If you believe Silva will win then take the betting odds of -125 as they do have some value. However, the best value for this super-fight is with McGregor as he has odds as high as +130. That means you will earn $130 dollars for every $100 dollars wagered.
I’m certain that if this fight were to take place, there would be a high volume of prop bets available as well due to the star power in this matchup.
“It’s not a fight that I’m interested in right now. “I’m not interested in anybody right now for Conor. I think what works for Conor right now is for him to sit back and relax. Like I said after June 6, as of right now. I got to pull off Saturday and I gotta pull off June 6 and our schedule is back on. We’re back on track with our schedule, and we’ll get fights cranking. We’ll get fights rolling, man. Some things will start playing out and then Conor can make a decision on what he wants to do next.”
Dana White believes that McGregor needs to just sit back and wait for things to unfold in the lightweight division. He really wants to position McGregor to take on the winner of Justin Gaethje and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
More importantly, White wants to wait on an octagon return for McGregor until fans are allowed to attend events considering how much money that the UFC earns off of the gate and PPV buys.
With that said, I believe that Dana White is making a mistake by not lining up this super-fight with Silva and McGregor for the summer.
5 Reasons Why the UFC Should Book McGregor vs Silva This Summer
In my opinion, Dana White is dropping the ball on a potential moneymaker in this super-fight. The following is a list of five reasons why the UFC should immediately jump on this showdown:
1) When Will the Fans Return?
Dana White has been aggressively trying to get the UFC to return to normal since the sports world had been shut down due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, just because the UFC is able to start running shows weekly again, doesn’t mean things are going to get back to “normal” any time soon.
It’s clear that Dana White wants to capitalize on McGregor’s popularity. However, I don’t see how he’s going to be able to fully do that with no fans in the venues.
It’s going to be at least three to four more months before we get any clarity on when fans can return to live fights. So, that means the UFC will only be able to rely on TV deals and PPVs for revenue as of now.
With that said, a super-fight between the two stars will generate a strong PPV response from the fans which is something that the UFC could really benefit from right now especially with no live gate.
2) McGregor Wants to Fight in the Summer
When Conor McGregor returned to the octagon in January 2020 against Donald Cerrone, he made it clear that he was looking to fight three times this year and wanted a second trip inside the octagon this summer. Unfortunately, the sports world has changed a lot since then.
Even with that in mind, McGregor needs a fight where he can stay active, stay in fighting shape, and an opponent that isn’t a large favorite like Nurmagomedov would’ve been.
A matchup with Silva meets all of that criteria and more. McGregor has had one fight since October 2018 and it was a 40 second victory over Cerrone. Critics and fans of McGregor alike are pretty much in agreement that “Notorious” needs another fight before he takes on the lightweight champ.
3) Anderson Silva Has No Other Realistic Options
Anderson Silva is 45 years old and 1-6 with 1 NC in his last eight UFC fights dating back to 2013. He’s at the tail end of his contract with the UFC and his MMA career. Yet, he still has a marketable name due to being one of the greatest of all-time.
At this point in his career, Silva is more of a side-show attraction than a realistic contender for a title or against the top contenders in the middleweight division. Instead, he should be used for super-fights like this against McGregor.
4) Intrigue Over Who Will Actually Win
Since both men have accepted the challenge to fight each other, social media has been buzzing over who might win. It’s created intrigue among fans due to the size, power, speed, age, stamina and strength advantages with each fighter.
Some fans and pundits believe that Silva is too big and rangy for McGregor to handle. Others believe that McGregor’s speed and striking will be too much for a 45 year old Silva to handle.
Regardless of which side of the fence fans, fighters and pundits fall on, there’s enough intrigue and excitement that the UFC needs to capitalize on it especially during a restricted sports climate.
5) Will Attract Mainstream Media
As I already alluded to how this matchup would draw interest from fans to create strong PPV buys, I also believe it would draw a strong buzz with the mainstream media.
This matchup is two of the UFC’s biggest stars of all-time and enough of a size advantage between the two fighters that would make the sports world generally interested in the outcome of the fight on a global scale.
Since White is all about interesting matchups and making smart business decisions, this is the type of matchup that meets both of those criteria and more. The fans and the media would jump on board this super-fight and it could also be a perfect way to feature UFC’s Fight Island.
Who Would Win This Super-Fight?
For Silva, he would have to cut down 10 pounds from his fighting weight of 185 pounds. For McGregor, he would only have to put on 5 or 6 more pounds than where he was when he fought Donald Cerrone in January at UFC 246. I don’t see any significant issues with the catch-weight of 176 pounds.
Where the issues could arise are with the height and reach advantages for Anderson Silva. “The Spider” is six inches taller, has four inches in reach, and three inches in kicking advantages over McGregor. It’s hard to imagine that McGregor is going to land many head kicks against Silva.
In addition to being 14 years younger, I also give the 31 year old McGregor the advantages in speed, quickness, and endurance. He’s in his prime, while Silva is a good 8 or 9 years past his prime.
With that said, I am taking Conor McGregor to win this super-fight. Since there’s no threat of this contest going to the mat, I believe McGregor will eventually pick apart Silva and either finish him off late in the fight or cruise to a unanimous decision victory.
Winner –Conor McGregor (-105)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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