Former PRIDE champ Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 4-5 UFC) today sounded a bit surprised that British fighter Tom Wason (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) called him out, but not the least bit upset.
“More guys talking about me is good,” Silva told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “Talking good or talking bad, but talking about me is good.”
In other words, any publicity is good publicity. Still, it’s not like Silva needs much of that these days. Recently, he delivered a signature performance against Brian Stann that harkened pack to his earlier career in Japan, which, as it happened, was where their fight was held. The two headlined UFC on FUEL TV 8 earlier this month.
Just like in his heyday, Silva buzzed the crowd at Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, and laid his opponent out after a frenzied exchange of fists. He won performance bonuses for “Knockout of the Night” and “Fight of the Night,” which put an extra $100,000 in his pocket.
So Silva certainly doesn’t need the scratch, and with the capital he’s earned, he could ask for a marquee opponent. Watson, however, is a fine opponent – if the fans and the UFC want it.
“My name is on the list, like Brian Stann is coming as part of the new generation,” he said. “I’m so glad to give the opportunity for any guys in the UFC. If the UFC wants it, why not?”
One potential roadblock, however, is weight. Watson is a natural middleweight, and wants to fight Silva at 185 pounds.
“Yo @wandfc, stay on your supplements at 205, or come back to 185 and get knocked the f— out,” he wrote on Twitter.
Then again, Watson could take a few extra trips to the buffet if Silva gets his wish fight at 195 pounds, which he said is the perfect weight class for his frame. (He previously fought catchweight bouts at 190 and 195 pounds, and faced Stann at 205, which he recently suggested could be a permanent move.)
Whatever they decide, Silva is not going to pull the veteran card and say that Watson isn’t worthy of meeting a man of his achievements.
“I think if the fight is interesting, we need to do, whatever the record,” Silva said. “The public is the boss. If the public wants to see it, we need to do it.”
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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