UFC legend accepts Conor McGregor fight challenge after saying Khabib bout will be 'boring'
With UFC 229 coming up on Saturday, Conor McGregor has got quite the week ahead of him. That day he'll be taking on Khabib Nurmagomedov in Las Vegas, with fans pretty divided on who will come out on top. According to McGregor, the Irishman is going to win by a "devastating KO," but Khabib's 26-0 undefeated streak must be intimidating, even for the notoriously self-assured fighter.
However, even with all the pressure mounting up this week, McGregor has started making plans for his future. Speaking to ESPN's Ariel Helwani earlier this week in a phone interview, McGregor was asked about what fight could be next for him.
When he was asked about MMA legend Georges St-Pierre, who had expressed an interest in taking on whichever fighter wins on Saturday, McGregor wasn't too enthused. "We'll see what happens, but I don't think next," he said. "He doesn't really have anything for me personally. I'm not going to shut the door on that down the line."
However, when it came to Anderson Silva, he seemed far more enthusiastic. Despite the fact that McGregor was solely focusing on "fights that interest me or have meaning," he did call Silva "a legend in the game", and was happy to face him in the sport someday.
Silva has previously held the UFC middleweight title, but was suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency for a year after testing positive for methyltestosterone, a synthetic anabolic steroid. His ban is due to be lifted in November, which paves the way for the 43-year-old fighter to face off against McGregor at some point in the near future. And as it turns out, he heard what McGregor had to say about him and is happy to take him on.
In a conversation with ESPN, he said it was a "dream come true" to hear McGregor say he's keen for a fight. However, he isn't entirely sure that McGregor will follow through on it, based off his previous experience:
"He's a legend. I'm a legend. Let's go do this for the fans.
"Hopefully McGregor doesn't do the same as Georges St-Pierre. He talked about fighting me and then he run and run and run."
Silva also took to his Instagram account shortly after McGregor's comments about a potential fight started making the rounds online. He posted:
"It would be a great honour to test myself for 'fighting' with Conor McGregor. He is an eclectic fighter, and has already proven that he has to be respected. Let's make this happen!
"The UFC wants super fights, I'm sure fans from all four corners of the world want to see this fight. I professionally believe it would be awesome to test my martial skills with a fighter like Conor Mcgregor a real super fight!
"Now he is focused on his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov, after this fight I am ready for this challenge! When and where he wants."
However, about the upcoming fight on Saturday, Silva wasn't too excited:
"For me, personally, I think this is a boring fight because everybody knows Khabib will try to put McGregor on the ground. I believe they both have a chance, but it will be very boring.
"Me and McGregor will be a super fight. Don't run, buddy. Don't run. I'm ready for you. I think McGregor needs to take this fight. Two of the best strikers in this sport: me and McGregor. That's amazing."
Hopefully we'll see Silva and McGregor in the ring - and hopefully Silva is wrong about how entertaining UFC 229 will be.