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Luke Rockhold: 'It would be an honor to beat up' Anderson Silva

The UFC's new middleweight champion says he would gladly fight former champ Anderson Silva, but feels the Brazilian needs to prove himself first, while he has to "beat up" Chris Weidman again.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

On February 27, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will make his comeback after a one-year suspension. The Brazilian superstar believes that opponent Michael Bisping is a last "big test" before another UFC title shot. And although current champion Luke Rockhold would welcome the challenge to one day face the former pound-for-pound king, he feels that Silva might have jumped the gun a bit with that statement.

"I think Silva's got to go prove himself," Rockhold told FOX Sports. "He's got a fight coming up so we'll see. I've always wanted to fight the guy. It would be an honor to beat him up. I think Weidman gave him a shot, beat him up twice and ended up proving himself. Unfortunately it looks like I'm going to have to beat up [Weidman] again."

Silva lost the middleweight title to Weidman in 2013. Five months later, he also lost the immediate rematch due to a grueling leg injury. After a one-year absence, Silva returned with a unanimous-decision victory against Nick Diaz in January 2015, but was tested positive for multiple banned substances during his pre- and post-fight drug tests. He will headline a UFC card in London against Bisping on February 27.

Rockhold won the 185-pound title from Weidman at UFC 194 in December and will likely defend it in an immediate rematch on a date yet to be announced.

(Transcription via MMA Fighting)