Who will be the biggest Brazilian star at the Rio 2016 Olympics? It could have been former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Two things stand in the way — time and UFC president Dana White, Silva said ahead of UFC 168 on Saturday night.
“I’d really like to represent Brazil in taekwondo at the Olympics, but I don’t really have enough time to do everything I’d like to do,” Silva said, according to the Los Angeles Daily News, before glancing at White. “And I don’t think really that daddy wants it.”
White offered a big grin, according to the newspaper.
Silva will fight Chris Weidman at UFC 168 in Las Vegas on Saturday night in a rematch of their UFC 162 bout. Weidman ended Silva’s seven-year winning streak in July.
Silva is 38 years old and will be 41 come the 2016 Olympics. But Brazil does not have a strong taekwondo tradition. No Brazilian man is ranked in the top 25 in the world in any of his possible Olympic weight classes, making qualifying a little bit easier.
Silva started taekwondo at age 14 and is reportedly a fifth-degree black belt.