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Brazilian sports television program "Esporte Espetacular," broadcast by Rede Globo every Sunday morning, recently aired an extensive interview with Anderson Silva and his son, Gabriel Silva.
In a video produced by MMA journalists Raphael Marinho and Marcelo Barone from Combate.com, Anderson Silva revealed that after two surgeries he is already training for a UFC return either at the end of 2020 or the beginning of next year. “The Spider” is just waiting on the UFC to confirm Anthony Pettis as his next opponent.
"UFC owes me a super fight by contract. Conor [McGregor] called me out right after my fight with [Israel] Adesanya. Our team talked to his team and we agreed upon a bout at [170 pounds], but something happened and UFC decided to not make it,” Silva said. “Then Anthony Pettis proposed that super fight, and I liked it because he was already a champion who has impressive knockouts. Of course, it would be a great super fight.
“At this point of my career and for all my legacy it doesn't make any sense to face new talents that are entering the game now,” he continued. “I don’t want to be a ‘step’ for the new generation. I want to face relevant champions for the sport. And definitely Pettis is a great challenge that will make me train a lot.”
Silva said that a potential bout with Pettis would take place at middleweight.
IN HIS FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS: Gabriel Silva, the only of the UFC legend’s five sons that plans to follow in his father’s footsteps, was also introduced to Brazilian audience on the latest episode of “Esporte Espetacular.” After earning two kickboxing belts in American amateur events, the 23-year-old said he is already training jiu-jitsu in order to make his MMA debut in the near future.
"Having my dad as master and mentor is something really special. We talk a lot and he gives me a unique overview of the sport. Not only about technical aspects but also about work ethics, discipline and martial arts behavior. He is like a martial arts bible," Gabriel said.
In addition to sharing knowledge, Anderson helps his son prepare to face the comparisons that are sure to arise.
"He always advises me to be myself and not accept comparisons. After all, at the end of the day, I´m Gabriel not Anderson. But of course, I´m prepared to face that too,” Gabriel said.
Even while trying to protect his son from inevitable comparisons, Anderson is clearly proud of Gabriel´s late evolution.
"He has a special talent for boxing, and of course I see some similarities in the way he moves in the ring,” the former UFC middleweight champion said.
Like any MMA fighter, Gabriel dreams about a UFC future. He is in no rush to get there, however.
"My plan is to gain the most experience I can in boxing and kickboxing events and later migrate to MMA,” Gabriel said. “Of course, the UFC is a future dream, but I´m not in a hurry. I don't want to go to the UFC because my father was a legend there but because the best are there. But I´m not in a hurry. I don't need to go straight to UFC. I can test myself in other events before I go there."