Pettis Nearly Fought Silva: ‘UFC Didn’t Allow It’

MMA News

Pettis Nearly Fought Silva: ‘UFC Didn’t Allow It’

Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Anthony Pettis is expected to fight Roy Jones Jr. in a boxing match later tonight (Sat., April 1, 2023) at Gamebred Boxing 4 live on UFC Fight Pass, from inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but “Showtime” revealed earlier this week that he nearly fought another combat legend in recent past.

Pettis, who will be making his professional boxing debut on Saturday night, has struggled of late in mixed martial arts (MMA). The former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion has produced a lackluster 1-4 record since leaving UFC and joining Professional Fighters League (PFL) back in 2021. He’s hoping that a win over a legend like Jones Jr. will right the ship heading into 2023.

Earlier this week, Pettis spoke with RedCorner MMA and revealed that he was in talks to fight Anderson Silva in UFC before “Spider” was matched up against Uriah Hall and eventually retired. Pettis had bulked up a little bit since the Silva fight would have been contested at 185 pounds, which is part of the reason why he was to get bigger for this weekend’s Jones fight.

Unfortunately, Pettis never got his chance to fight one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time.

“That’s one I was supposed to get in the UFC right before he retired. He got Uriah Hall, actually,” Pettis told RedCorner MMA in regards to a missed chance to fight Silva. “That was discussed. I called him out. He accepted. UFC didn’t allow it at that time they wanted him to fight Uriah Hall.”

If Pettis is able to beat Jones Jr. tonight it will open a variety of doors for his next fight. That could include another trip to the boxing ring, which could come against Silva if both parties really wanted it. Until then, “Showtime” will try to take out “Superman” in his boxing debut in his hometown. will deliver LIVE coverage of tonight’s Gamebred 4 PPV main card HERE. The UFC Fight Pass/ “Prelims” kick off at 7 p.m. ET, then main card at 9 p.m. ET.