Prior to the finalization of his matchup against Israel Adesanya last November, Anderson Silva was leaning towards a rematch with Nick Diaz for his next fight. “The Spider” also expressed his problems with the current matchmaking trend in the UFC.
“I think the fight with Nick Diaz would be a very cool fight, very interesting,” Silva said in Portuguese in an interview with Rap 77 (translation via YouTube CC courtesy of MMAjunkie). “Because our last fight, both of us ended up getting caught in the doping, and it was a no-contest. So, actually, the fight didn’t exist.
“But I think Nick is a guy who has a name, a guy who has a history in this sport. And what we can’t accept is going into the UFC’s game of wanting to use the legends that they have to promote the young guys.
Silva says he is not hesitant to fight the younger fighters today. His issue, however, is the lack of respect he feels he and his fellow senior fighters are experiencing.
“I’ve talked about this a lot with Nick and with other athletes, as well. We don’t have an issue with fighting any of these kids,” he said. “We don’t have an issue. We just want to be respected for everything we have built in this sport. Never, in my early trajectory, I never called out anyone. I always let things happen naturally. And I think it can’t be different.
“The UFC has this thing of wanting to promote new talents that don’t have the charisma with the older athletes who have the charisma and who knew how to get the machine working when we were in there. And that’s something that today’s kids can’t do. They go up there, they fight, do good fights.
“But, once they open their mouths, they only say crap,” he added. “And they can’t get charisma with the audience. It’s no use being a good fighter and not being charismatic.”
Silva and Adesanya will co-headline UFC 234, which takes place on February 9th in Melbourne, Australia.