Heavyweight legend Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira would support his Brazilian jiu-jitsu student Anderson Silva if the former UFC middleweight champion would ever take on Conor McGregor in a super fight.
In recent interview with Combate, ‘Big Nog,’ not only stated he would bet his house on Silva, but he also defends the match because he believes it would make for an unforgettable clash of former Octagon champions.
“I think it’s a super fight!” Nogueira said. “Conor McGregor knows how to control distance well, but Anderson does it like nobody else. Derek Brunson is aggressive, knows how to close the distance, but couldn’t do anything against Anderson. The grappling aspect would be Anderson’s biggest obstacle. It would be a beautiful fight between two talented athletes who know how to punch and kick.
“Anderson can get to 176 pounds, and McGregor would have to pump some iron,” he added. “I would bet my house and car on Anderson, he would knock him out. Anderson masters distance like nobody else. They’re both southpaws, Anderson is good with counters and McGregor is good at straight punches. It would sell. Anderson knows how to play the trash talking game. If he needs to put on that mask, he will.”
A former UFC middleweight champion with 10 successful title defenses, Anderson Silva has been away from the Octagon since a unanimous decision win over Derek Brunson back in February 2017. Before that, the 43-year-old was on a five-fight winless skid, with four losses and one No Contest. Silva is serving out the rest of his reduced one-year USADA suspension after testing positive for a contaminated supplement.
In his most recent outing, Conor McGregor fought Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 for the lightweight championship, but was defeated via submission in the fourth round. Conor’s last win came in November 2016, when he knocked out Eddie Alvarez to become the lightweight champion.