MANILA, Philippines – Future MMA hall of famer Anderson Silva threatened to retire from fighting if he is forced to fight against fellow Brazilians Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and former UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida.
Silva, who is seeking to reclaim the UFC middleweight crown from Chris Weidman, said both Machida and Souza are his friends.
"I’m a man with honor," Silva said in MMA Fighting. "I’d never fight Jacare or Lyoto. I’d even stop fighting just not to fight them."
"Jacare is a guy that has been doing a great job and can earn a title shot (soon)," he explained.. "Lyoto is a close friend, a great athlete, and we train together, just like Jacare."
The fast-rising Souza has already won two consecutive matches since debuting in the UFC, while Machida has dropped to middleweight to face Mark Munoz in UFC on FOX Sports 2.
These fights put both Souza and Machida in a possible middleweight collision with Silva.
If he wins the middleweight crown from Weidman, Silva said he might even surrender the title if pitted against either Souza or Machida.
"If we get to a point where we’d have to fight," he said, "I’d even give up the title."