Speaking at the UFC 208 media day, Silva says McGregor’s striking is unmatched:
This is a personal challenge for my life, because Conor in my opinion has the best stand-up technique in the UFC. For me, I think it’s a good challenge for my technique and for my martial arts technique and stand up. I think this is the great fight in my mind, but I don’t know. One day, maybe…Conor is the best now. I think Conor broke the records, broke everything, and [the Floyd fight] is a new challenge for Conor. [But] it’s a different sport. This is no simple guy. Mayweather is no simple guy, is no MMA guy. This is different sport. I train box[ing] for long time in my life. And when I go to sparring with the professional guys it’s so different. the timing is different, the movement is different. the people need to respect both sports, but boxing is different.
Silva says that because he holds McGregor in high regard he wants to fight him.
First of all, I respect a lot Conor McGregor because this man changed everything in the UFC. Because I’m very respectful of Conor McGregor’s style. I think it’s a great challenge for my martial arts techniques. I don’t talk to disrespect Conor. I do it for challenge, for myself and the best stand-up fighting. I respect Conor and I think this is a great show, it’s a great fight for the rest of my life. For the rest of my story in the UFC…Yeah of course [I’m older]. I’m so happy because in my heart I have energy. I have a lot of energy. In my mind and in my heart and I talked to my family and my family gives me support to finish my contract in the UFC. I think I have the energy to fight for more years. I think maybe six or seven years but I have energy. This is more important. I have energy. I have passion and I love my job.
During a UFC 208 media scrum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Silva says he wants to figh tMcGregor.
I’d like to test myself against Conor because he’s an interesting martial artist. His stand-up game is an intelligent game. Not because he’s champion now, but for the martial arts challenge. I’d like to see how these stand-up techniques, his and mine, would mix, and how that would go. But not to fight for a belt or anything like that. For the challenge, an interest, that thing about knowing how a fight like this would go. I believe he can make 176, 178 pounds, right? That’s a weight I can get. We started this work and I got to 174, but…my team and my doctor decided to stay in my division.
Silva says he wants to fight McGregor.
Now that I’m old, I’m beginning to challenge everyone. Oh, I want to beat this dwarf… what’s the boy’s name again? McGregor. It is not provocation. It’s just that I forget, I’m old. Old men know what it’s like. I have this urge to test myself against him. I think he’s a guy who has an unusual ability. I do not know if he would reach a weight of 81, 82 kg, which is the weight I can get to, but it’s a guy I’d like to test myself before I end my career. I think it would be a great fight for the world of fights and UFC history.
He also says McGregor may beat Mayweather:
I think everybody has a chance. When you step inside [the ring] to fight, you have a chance. Of course if you’re fighting Mayweather, people would say ‘oh, McGregor won’t last a round,’ but we never know. The movement is different [in boxing], how you have your feet on the ground is different, the timing is different [in] boxing. The only way to see is putting them to fight. He would have to stop at least a year to be able to do a close fight, and I believe he should do it.
Silva says that McGregor should try to fight Mayweather despite his flaws.
He has flaws. We all have flaws. And his flaws are clear. He defends well, but he doesn’t have jiu-jitsu. The main thing is that he uses his movement and his opponent’s movement in his advantage. He never puts himself in uncomfortable positions. Everyone who fought him put themselves in uncomfortable positions and weren’t able to get back to comfortable positions again. I think everybody has a chance. When you step inside (the ring) to fight, you have a chance. Of course that if you’re fighting Mayweather, people would say ‘oh, McGregor won’t last a round,’ but we never know. The movement is different, how you have your feet on the ground is different, the timing is different boxing. The only way to see is putting them to fight. He would have to stop at least a year to be able to do a close fight, and I believe he should do it.
Silva says he wants to fight McGregor:
That’s a challenge I would like to do. I’ve never asked to fight anybody, but I would like to test my martial arts skills against Conor McGregor. I would like that and a rematch with Nick Diaz and Michael Bisping. I think McGregor is a great striker, but he didn’t do very well in his last fight because he played into Nate Diaz’s game and that’s really hard. The Diaz brothers have a lot of gas. You have to respect him, the loss to Diaz doesn’t diminish his career at all. These are the fighters I would like to fight. McGregor, Diaz and Bisping because that fight did not end nicely.