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Anderson Silva vs. Showtime? Pettis and the Spider both want the fight

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With Conor McGregor walking away from MMA again, Anderson Silva’s plan to take on the former double champ at a catchweight seems like it’s dead in the water. But there could still be a fight for him at 176 lbs.

UFC 237: Cannonier v Silva Photo by Alexandre Schneider/Getty Images

It may not have been the plan anyone expected, but it does appear that there was some legit movement to the idea of putting on a superfight between former middleweight king Anderson Silva and combat sports superstar Conor McGregor. Silva recently revealed to Chael Sonnen that he’s already started cutting weight in anticipation of the bout, and in an interview with ESPN, McGregor told Ariel Helwani that it was a fight that made him excited too.

Unfortunately that same interview was explanation from McGregor as to why exactly he was retiring. In part because he realized that even a bout against someone like Anderson Silva just wouldn’t offer the kind of challenge he was looking for.

“It wouldn’t be rewarded,” McGregor admitted, speaking of the Silva fight. “I would go in there and put him away, Ariel, and then what would happen? They’d say he’s old and he’s over the hill and he’s past his prime and all.”

That seems like it should put the kibosh firmly on Silva’s plans to drop down below the middleweight limit. But there just might be another fight for the ‘Spider’ in the making. Anthony Pettis threw his name into the hat for a battle with the all-time great, and Silva dropped into the comments to say “let’s do it” (h/t MMA Mania).

Obviously that’s a long way away from having a signed contract in both men’s hands, but with both men out of their respective title pictures – and both looking for the biggest money making opportunities they can find – it’s hard to see why the UFC shouldn’t give the idea some life. After all, it’s not like Silva’s going to go out there and try to out-wrestle Pettis. It should be an opportunity for both men to have exactly the kind of fight they love, and one that could still garner some real interest from their fans.