Anderson Silva is currently serving a one-year suspension after testing positive for banned substances before and after his last fight in the UFC, but the former champion recently teased his return to action and it might involve Michael Bisping.
Silva was a guest fighter at Eurasia Fight Night in Dagestan on Friday on a card airing on UFC Fight Pass and he was interviewed as part of the show and asked about his return to action in 2016.
"I think I'm fighting in April next year in Brazil in my city Curitiba on the same card as (Fabricio) Werdum," Silva said. "The people talk for my next opponent is, I don't remember the name, but I think it's Michael Bisping. I think, I don't know."
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Now all of this is completely new information and clearly unconfirmed by UFC officials so take everything Silva said with a grain of salt but it still raises a few interesting possibilities for the former champion's return to action.
The UFC has expressed interest in possibly doing a show in Silva's hometown of Curitiba, Brazil and April would potentially fit the timeline UFC president Dana White revealed when speaking about heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum's first title defense against former champion Cain Velasquez.
The wild card in this entire situation is Silva name-dropping Bisping as a potential opponent.
Bisping is currently set to face Robert Whittaker as one of the featured bouts at UFC 193 in Australia on November 14 and when he heard Silva mention his name on Friday he was taken back just like everybody else. Bisping first responded to the rumor via an Instagram post and then he expanded on the possible fight when speaking to FOX Sports on Friday.
"It's funny, I was in the car driving up to L.A. and a friend of mine just texted that picture as I was driving and I was like 'oh really?' I had no idea," Bisping said. "Apparently he thinks we're fighting! I found it very amusing."
Bisping has lobbied for a fight against Silva for several years and while he says it was a little disheartening that the legendary champion tested positive for steroids surrounding his last fight in January against Nick Diaz, he would still be interested in the fight if it was offered.
"Anderson is an absolute legend. Of course, the whole thing is a little bit tainted now because of the positive drug test so it's not the burning desire it once was, but that said it has peaked my interest shall we say," Bisping said.
"I will call the UFC and say 'listen if they want to do it, then f--k it, I'm in'."
All of this is pure speculation right now because Bisping would obviously have to get past Whittaker and the UFC hasn't even scheduled a fight as far as April 2016 yet. Still, a possible Silva vs. Bisping fight would be big business and a bout the middleweight division has never seen before.