Current UFC middleweight tyrant Anderson Silva is currently scheduled to face fellow Brazilian Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort in early February as the next defense of his middleweight title, but he is already mulling around ideas for his next fight.
In an interview with ESPN.com recently, Silva expressed his desire to return to the United Kingdom to defend his belt against one of that country’s biggest mixed martial arts stars, Michael “The Count” Bisping. Silva was the Cage Rage–a UK-stationed fight promotion–middleweight champion from 2004 until 2006, when he made his UFC debut. He told ESPN that he enjoys fighting in front of British audiences becuase of their MMA savvy and overall enthusiasm for the sport.
“The British fans are very knowledgeable and passionate about MMA. I would love to fight there once more,” Silva said.
“The Spider” relayed to ESPN that his desire to fight Bisping comes out of nothing but respect for “The Count” and his accomplishments inside the Octagon, and that, while his desire to fight in England does come from his fondness for the place, he also feels an obligation to defend his belt against fighters from all over the world, at locations all over the world.
“Michael Bisping is very impressive,” said Silva. “He’s been in the UFC for a long time now and beaten some very good fighters. It would be an honour to fight him, perhaps in England. He is fast, is very busy and makes adjustments quickly. I am the champion of the world, not just Brazil or America. Being a world champion means taking on the best fighters from around the world all over the world.”
In case any were unclear as to exactly what Silva was getting at, he stated it very clearly toward the end of the interview, saying, “If the chance came I would like to fight Bisping in the UK if that’s what the UFC put together.”
Bisping is set to fight Jorge Rivera toward the end of February, at UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. Silva and Belfort will square off at UFC 126 this February 5th, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.