This weekend, in the co-main event of UFC 234, former UFC middleweight champ and veritable MMA icon Anderson Silva will return to the Octagon for a fight with streaking striking sensation Israel Adesanya.
Ahead of this fight, the oddsmakers have identified Adesanya as a massive betting favorite. Yet Silva is as confident as ever that he can win.
No matter the outcome of this fight, however, Anderson Silva says that, when it’s over and done with, he’s keen to fight at UFC 237 in Curitiba, Brazil on May 11.
“My focus now is for this fight,” Silva said (via MMAjunkie). “I think hopefully I win this fight – or not – but I think my plan is to fight in Curitiba. (It is) my city, my country, with my next opponent. That’s my goal.”
UFC President Dana White has previously stated that the winner of Anderson Silva and Israel Adesanya’s fight will be the next man to challenge the winner of the UFC 234 main event: a middleweight title fight between Robert Whittaker and Kelvin Gastelum.
If Silva fights at UFC 237, however, it seems unlikely that it would be for the middleweight title, as Whittaker and Gastelum might not be willing to adhere to his schedule.
Whatever the case, it seems that, win or lose, Anderson Silva is not done fighting yet. Then again, we already knew that. He loves doing this — even if his family wishes he wouldn’t.
“When I talk to my kids and my wife and all my family, it’s all the same — ‘Why?! Don’t do that!’” Silva said at the UFC 234 pre-fight press conference (via MMA Fighting). “And I say, OK. Let me tell you something. This is my life, this is me. And I need to do something for me.
“Because when I stop, I never come back. And at this point, my family say, ‘OK, just do it. Do it. Do it the best you can and come back safe for home.’ It’s not easy. Everybody here has a family and everybody’s families try to stay close to you, doing something for your [safety]. Because it’s a war. Inside the cage, everybody is not joking.
“Sometimes big accidents happen. I broke my leg. Sometimes you cut your face and back to home and look at your family and look at your kids. Everybody looks at you and says, ‘Why do you do that?’ It’s a passion.
“You love your job, you keep doing it. My family respects my job and respect my dreams. That’s why I continue to fight.”
Do you think we’ll see Anderson Silva back in the cage at UFC 237 in May?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 2/8/2019.