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By Oliver Taylor on 11/28/2020 8:47 AM

Xtreme Fighting Championships president Myron Molotky confirmed talks with Anderson Silva today to Josh Yule of MMASucka.

XFC is the only publicly traded mixed martial arts promotion in the world. Silva would join the company’s ownership as part of the deal.

Molotky said: “We’re talking to Anderson in a variety of different levels, what are his next steps – and it really comes down to what he wants to do.

“Does he want to be involved in MMA moving forward? We believe he does, based on everything that he’s said, and we’d like to create some opportunities for him to do that with the XFC.”

Silva, 45, was released from his Ultimate Fighting Championship last week. Although unanimously considered a pioneer in the sport, he has lost seven of his last nine fights.

Speaking on RIZIN Fighting Federation’s interest in signing Silva, first reported by Drake Driggs of MyMMANews yesterday, Molotky said: “No one has a business model like ours. At RIZIN they do a good job, they put on a lot of great fights, they generate a lot of excitement about what they do.

“But their business model’s not like the XFC’s. We have a development league. We have a tournament that determines the grit and determination of our fighters to get to the super-fight series.

“When you combine the ownership, the history, and where we’re going, and what our model is, I think the XFC is a no-brainer for him.”

Molotky first extended the offer to Silva after his loss to Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas on October 31. Molotky told Yule on November 6: “Take a look across the sport in general. What do the fighters get out of it, other than a purse?

“They get put on a platform, someone knows their name, maybe many people know their name. But this is something that I believe we’re going to see much more passion out of our athletes, that knowing that they own this property, knowing that they own a piece just like I own a piece.

“Fighters earn a certain amount of shares, just signing with the XFC roster, and from then on it’s going to be incentive-based. It’s going to be based on winning, it’s going to be based on Fight of the Night, which is going to be tied into a financial reward and more shares for the bonus structure. Knockout of the Night, Submission of the Night, that’s all going to be tied in where they can gain so many extra shares from their performances in the hexagon.”

Yule’s article from November 6 can be viewed here.

Molotky emphasised the appeal the ownership aspect of the deal today. “When Anderson comes aboard XFC, he’s going to come aboard as an owner in XFC. And depending on what route we choose to go, he can expand that ownership over time as well,” he said.

“Ownership is always going to be key with XFC being a publically traded company and the ability to create this ownership value proposition.”

Molotky promised to provide Silva quality opponents in XFC. “We’re not interested in just matching him up just to get him a fight. We’re interested in something explosive that plays to his strengths and also his opponent’s,” he said.

“Because what we want is to showcase fireworks in the hexagon, a great fight. The common thinking might be ‘let’s find Anderson a layup.’

“But that’s not what he would want. Knowing everything I know about him, I think he wants to be challenged inside the hexagon if that was a route where he would go. I don’t have anyone specific in mind at this point, because we haven’t crossed that bridge.”

Bellator MMA was the first company to rule out signing Silva. Bellator CEO Scott Coker told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani last week: “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Anderson Silva, one of my favorite fighters and one of the greatest of all time, but I’m happy with our roster and the direction Bellator is heading.”

Coker reiterated his stance during the Bellator 253 press scrum: “I really love our roster, I love the things that we’re doing here, I love the direction of the company and that’s what we’re going to stay focused on.”

Professional Fighters League president Ray Sefo revealed he hopes Silva will retire from MMA in an interview with FIGHT SPORTS, seemingly ruling out the promotion signing him.

Sefo said: “Listen, I mean that guy is such a legend in the sport but isn’t he around 46?

“The guy is such an amazing talent. I think he has been a great champion, he’s definitely gonna go down in history as one of the best to ever do it.

“Nothing but a lot of respect but I just think it’s that time to hang it up. Watching his last fight, he also a fought a former teammate of mine, and Uriah Hall was able to finish that fight.

“Anderson Silva is a legend and he’s gonna go down in history as one of the best to do it, so I’d like to remember him as that guy.”

Sefo’s full interview with FIGHT SPORTS can be viewed here.

Molotky was perplexed by Coker and Sefo’s lack of interest in signing Silva. “Ray Sefo, at PFL, saying he’s not interested? Come on Ray! Sure,” he said.

“Scott’s done so many exploratory entertainment fights over the years… I’m don’t know if this is the result of Anderson saying he’s not interested, and they’re jumping the gun to basically cover their own ass? I would find it ridiculous, for anyone to say they’re not interested.”

ONE Championship chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong also confirmed ONE will not be pursuing the signing of Silva.

Sityodtong said: “I am a huge Anderson Silva fan. Without a doubt, he is one of the best to ever do it.

“That being said, athlete safety is our #1 priority at ONE Championship. As such, we will not be bidding for his services.”

Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship president David Feldman told the company is focused on building the company’s current crop of stars.

Feldman said: “At this time, we are not interested in Anderson Silva competing for BKFC.

“He’s a legend and I loved watching him fight. We need to concentrate on building our fighters already signed to BKFC.”

The full article can be read here.

Roy Jones Jr. cornerman Tom Yankello listed Silva among possible future opponents if the boxing legend decides to continue his comeback in an interview with The Sun.

Jones Jr. will come out of retirement to face Mike Tyson in an eight-round exhibition fight tonight promoted by Tyson’s own Legends Only League.

Yankello said: “I know he’s got a couple of guys he wants to settle scores with if they’re willing to.

“It would have to be one of the guys he really wants or for a cruiserweight world championship of something like that.

“Anderson Silva, that’s another name I can see something like that too. Roy loves to fight, he loves to train, he’s the ultimate competitor he enjoys that.”

Yankello’s full interview can be read here.

Many fans have speculated Silva could face the winner of the Tyson versus Jones Jr. exhibition at a future Legends Only League event. Silva and Jones Jr. have expressed interest in fighting each other dating back to 2008, going as far as Jones Jr. sitting in the front row for Silva’s fight at UFC 162.

Silva has competed in two professional boxing matches in the past. He lost to Osmar Luiz Teixeira in 1998 and defeated Julio Cesar De Jesus in 2005.

Jones Jr. said he’s “almost positive” he will face Silva in a boxing match during yesterday’s media scrum.

As mentioned above, RIZIN president Nobuyuki Sakakibara confirmed the promotion’s interest in signing Silva to MyMMANews, but clarified no negotiations have taken place yet.

Sakakibara said: “I have great memories with Anderson Silva during the PRIDE days and in my personal opinion, I think his career took off in Japan.

“I have heard that Japan has a special part in his heart as well. I do feel that I would like to help him fulfill his wishes out of respect for what he has accomplished and what he has done for our sport.

“I haven’t talked to him yet but I would be interested to see if we can come up with something that makes sense for him to start his final chapter in Japan.”

Silva fought five times in PRIDE Fighting Championships from 2002 to 2004. He defeated Alex Stiebling, Alexander Otsuka and Carlos Newton in his first three fights before losing to Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan.

The full article from MyMMANews can be read here.

RIZIN and XFC are the only two MMA promotions to confirm interest in signing Silva. Depending on the result of Tyson versus Jones Jr. tonight, Silva could also foray into boxing.

Silva squashed any retirement speculation after stating his plans to continue competing in MMA on Instagram following his release from the UFC.

He posted: “I love and have always loved what I do, winning and losing are a part of it, it has absolutely nothing to do with age, I made technical mistakes and lost, but I didn’t lose what’s most important, the will and the desire to continue doing what I love, I still have the warrior spirit and that burning flame in my heart that motivates me, I have total belief that I can continue to compete in the elite of MMA.

“I take this moment to reflect about my career and to plan my next moves… Stay Tuned!!!”

Yule’s article on MMASucka posted today, including the full interview with Molotky, can be viewed here.