He’s done it before, recently, on even shorter notice. Might Anderson Silva be willing to step up to help keep a fighter on a UFC show once again?
That’s what Tim Kennedy wants to know. The UFC middleweight today tweeted at Silva and suggested maybe the two should fight next month at UFC 206 in Toronto. Kennedy (18-5 MMA, 3-1 UFC) is in need of an opponent after Rashad Evans (19-5-1 MMA, 14-5-1 UFC) had to be pulled from the card.
Kennedy and Evans were supposed to be a part of UFC 205, but the New York commission would not clear Evans for an undisclosed medical issue. The fight then shifted to UFC 206, but Monday, Evans’ manager told MMAjunkie the Ontario Athletic Commission also denied Evans a license for the fight.
So with no opponent in what was to be Kennedy’s first fight in nearly two years, he reached out to former middleweight kingpin Silva (33-7 MMA, 16-3 UFC).
“@SpiderAnderson I know it’s been a minute since you won a fight,” Kennedy said on Twitter. “I might be an easy match up. Bad wrestling, horrible striking. #ufc206 ?”
In July, Silva stepped up on just three days’ notice to fight light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier in a non-title fight when Jon Jones was pulled after a failed drug test. He lost by unanimous decision – but added to his legendary status a bit by taking the fight without any preparation.
But in the months that followed, Silva said he was disappointed in the UFC for not giving him an appropriate level of respect after taking the fight.
“I was very disappointed with the lack of respect that the UFC has been treating the Brazilian athletes with,” Silva said. “I’m an athlete who took the sport to another level. I don’t get, or have got, people’s due respect. This has made me very upset, sad, and disappointed with the UFC.”
Silva’s loss to Cormier, which served on the pay-per-view main card of UFC 200 on July 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, marked his fourth loss in the octagon in five appearances. A decision over Nick Diaz after gruesomely breaking his leg in a title rematch with now ex-champ Chris Weidman was changed to a no-contest when he tested positive for multiple performance enhancers and was later suspended for a year. The former champ, who this year turned 41, hasn’t won since a second-round TKO of Stephan Bonnar more than four years ago at UFC 153. Once a lock at No. 1 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA middleweight rankings, he’s now an honorable mention.
UFC officials on Monday confirmed Evans would not fight on UFC 206, and urged him to take careful consideration of his health with doctors before deciding whether or not to book fights in the future.
“The UFC organization takes the health and safety of all athletes competing under the UFC banner very seriously and has encouraged Evans to take all the appropriate time to consult with his physicians and properly evaluate his medical status prior to scheduling any future bouts,” the UFC’s statement read.
But Evans went on Twitter and said retirement is not on his mind – and that he’s 100 percent healthy.