UFC news, rumors: Anderson Silva promised title shot with win; Jon Jones not completely sober
Silva claims Dana White offered him the opportunity during negotiations
Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will make his return to the Octagon on Feb. 9 at UFC 234 when he battles rising sensation Israel Adesanya. When Silva's return was announced over the weekend, a safe assumption to make was that he was offered something pretty enticing to accept a fight with Adesanya. If Silva is to be believed, then it appears that was absolutely the case during negotiations.
In an interview with ESPN, Silva claims that UFC president Dana White revealed to him that, should he knock off the 15-0 Adesanya, then he will receive a shot at regaining the middleweight title he once held while being regarded as one of the greatest of all time.
"Dana came to Los Angeles to talk to me," Silva said. "I said to him, 'Why am I going to take this fight?' And Dana said, 'You know, you win this fight, you go to the title belt.' I said, 'OK, now you are talking good business for me.'"
The main event of that same UFC 234 card would produce the future opponent for Silva if these terms are accurate, as reigning champion Robert Whittaker will defend against Kelvin Gastelum.
While it may be difficult to assume White is telling the truth, there could be some merit to this. Adesanya is one of the more exciting fighters to watch at the moment, but he doesn't exactly fit the description of a big-name opponent that Silva was reportedly looking for upon his return to the cage. So sweetening the pot by offering up a title shot may have been necessary to secure this co-main event for the card set to take place in Melbourne, Australia.
More UFC news, rumors
- Ahead of his return at UFC 232 on Dec. 29 when he will face Alexander Gustafsson for the light heavyweight title in a rematch from their thrilling first bout. Jon "Bones" Jones make quite the revelation this week. Jones, who has dealt with highly-publicized substance abuse issues in the past, told Ariel Helwani this past Monday that he's not completely sober, as he still both drinks and smokes marijuana "once in a while."
- Ben Askren's UFC debut is officially set. Acquired in a historic trade with ONE Championship that saw former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson head over to Asia, the undefeated welterweight will meet veteran Robbie Lawler on Jan. 26 at UFC 233 in Anaheim, California.
- UFC is headed to the Czech Republic for the first time ever. The promotion announced on Wednesday that an event will be held inside O2 Arena in Prague on Feb. 23.
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