CONOR McGREGOR and Anderson Silva “agreed” to a welterweight super-fight – until the UFC intervened.
Middleweight legend Silva called out McGregor – a former featherweight and lightweight champion – in late May to a 176lb catchweight bout – which was swiftly accepted.
Both sides then came to terms to instead face each other at welterweight, but the UFC blocked the matchup all together.
Silva told Combate: “UFC owes me a super-fight by contract. Conor called me out right after my fight with (Israel) Adesanya.
“Our team talked to his team and we agreed upon a bout at (170lbs), but something happened and UFC decided to not make it.”
“Then Anthony Pettis proposed that super fight, and I liked it because he was already a champion who has impressive knockouts.
“Of course, it would be a great super-fight.”
Just weeks after McGregor, 32, accepted a call out by Silva, 45, he announced a shock retirement.
Having been frustrated during coronavirus lockdown, unable to travel or compete, the Irishman was without an opponent and lacking motivation.
In an ESPN interview with Ariel Helwani, explaining his decision to retire, the former champion predicted he would not have received praise for beating veteran Silva.
He said: “When the Anderson one came along, I was like, yeah, s***, that’s a mad fight.
“And then everyone said he’s old and over the hill.
“I was, like, ‘What? Fighting a former light heavyweight and the middleweight GOAT, and the actual GOAT in my eyes, that’s not a rewardable fight?’
“And you know, you’re actually right. It wouldn’t be rewarded. I would go in there and put him away, Ariel, and then what would happen?
“They’d say he’s old and he’s over the hill and he’s past his prime and all.”