Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva may be done with MMA, but it doesn’t sound like he’s necessarily done with facing MMA fighters. With a move over to boxing seemingly official for the ‘Spider,’ it appears one of his former rivals may be following suit. Vitor Belfort recently announced his intention to step into the ring, perhaps that means a long-awaited rematch between the pair could be on the table.
In an interview with Globo Esporte, Anderson didn’t rule out the possibility of facing the ‘Phenom’ in fistic combat once again. It doesn’t exactly sound like Anderson will be breaking down anyone’s door for the opportunity, but the 46-year-old made it clear that he’s open to all sorts of endeavors as he moves over to boxing.
“Vitor is a great fighter, a great athlete. A household name in the sport in Brazil. He’s super talented. Speaking of a fight between us, everything is possible. I’ll sure he’ll find great success in boxing. Everything is so new. It’s a new era and I wish Vitor good luck in this endeavor.”
Although Silva left the door open for a potential Belfort rematch, he made it clear he’s still entirely focused on the fight currently in front of him. The Brazilian is set to take on former middleweight boxing champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., detailing his preparation and how excited he is to go back to boxing, a sport he’s always loved.
“I’m training to win,” Anderson stated. “I believe it’s going to be a tactical fight. Chavez is an experienced guy. He has tons of experience and I’ll try to do my best for the sport, without the need to prove anything to anyone.”
“It’s a moment of peace in my life,” he added. “I’m doing this because I love to fight. As long as God gives me conditions, I’ll continue to do it. Unlike MMA, boxing is elite. There’s more respect and humanity between opponents. I’m a little unreliable, though, I like boxing. I’ve trained and fought in both professional and amateur fights. Now I’m doing what I like.”
Silve (1-1 as a pro boxer) is expected to take on Chavez (52-5-1 1 NC) on June 19, in Guadalajara, Mexico. The longtime middleweight legend ended his UFC career on a three-fight losing skid, with defeats to Uriah Hall, Jared Cannonier, and Israel Adesanya. His last victory came in February 2017, when he bested Derek Brunson via unanimous decision.
Chavez most recently picked up a TKO victory over Jeyson Minda (14-2-1), back in November of 2020. That win broke a two-fight losing streak. Chavez is 6-4 following his 2012 defeat at the hands of Sergio Martinez, where he lost the WBC middleweight title.