Wanderlei Silva has become a very popular target for UFC Middleweights. Immediately after Silva knocked out Brian Stann at UFC On Fuel TV 8 he was called out by Tom Watson. Now, the last man to beat Watson has also set his eyes on the former Pride champion.When Tavares spoke with Duane Finley of Bleacher Report a fight with Wanderlei was the only thing on his mind:
"I want to fight Wanderlei Silva," Tavares told Bleacher Report in an exclusive interview. "I think the fight with Wanderlei makes a lot of sense and it would be awesome stylistically. I've been coming up the ranks and getting to fight someone I've looked up to for so long would be an awesome opportunity. It is the fight I really want and I hope I get my wish. It would be a dream come true to fight that guy.
"There is a lot that goes in to me wanting that fight. A lot people might not know this aside from my coaches and close friends, but Wanderlei has been my favorite fighter since I was a kid. There are a lot of fighters who have come along since I enjoy watching, but Wanderlei has always been my favorite. When I was growing up he was dominating over in Japan and I wanted to be just like him. I idolized the man. I wanted to fight viciously like him and the persona he carried blew me away back then."
Over the last year Tavares has strung together 3 consecutive decision victories in the Octagon. Most recently, he scored a unanimous decision over Riki Fukuda at UFC On Fuel TV 8. If the UFC grants his wish, he'd like to face-off against Wandy at UFC 161 in Las Vegas, NV.
As for Silva, it's hard to say whether or not he'd be interested in a fight with Tavares. In his last fight, Silva brought Stann at 205 lbs. because the MMA legend no longer wanted to make the cut to Middleweight. While Tavares seems enamored with this fight for more than it's divisional relevance, it's hard to say whether or not the UFC would want to keep booking 185 pounders to fight at Light Heavyweight.