• UFC 160

Silva, Dos Santos won't duck each other

Brett Okamoto
March 21, 2013
Junior dos Santos lost his title to Cain Velasquez © Getty Images

UFC heavyweights Junior dos Santos and Antonio Silva would have no issue meeting one another in the Octagon if a title was on the line.

Silva will challenge current heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at UFC 160 on May 25. Dos Santos is scheduled to face Mark Hunt on the same night, in a bout that could produce the division's next No. 1 contender.

That means should both Brazilians post a win in Las Vegas, their paths could collide. A potential problem, since the two are friends and occasional training partners.

With a UFC title involved, however, both men say they would accept the matchup.

"Well, we're going to fight," said Dos Santos, when asked what would happen if he and Silva won. "For the title, we're going to fight. We're good friends and part of the same team, but he has to think about his family and I have to [do the same]."

Silva, who earned the No. 1 contender position with an upset knockout victory over Alistair Overeem in February, agreed.

"It's tough because I love this guy," Silva said. "When you fight people you love, it's very hard, but I'm a professional. I have many things to support."

The two train with one another as members of Team Nogueira. Dos Santos said the friendship goes back four years.

Both agreed nothing could happen in the Octagon that would be worse than what occurs during a typical sparring session between them.

"[The sparring] is worse than the fight," Dos Santos said.

Dos Santos had originally been scheduled to fight Overeem on May 25, but that fight fell through due to injury.

The former champion, who surrendered the belt to Velasquez following a decision loss at UFC 155, said he never considered waiting for Overeem to return from injury and expects to fight Silva next, once his teammate wins the belt.

"I don't care about Alistair Overeem," Dos Santos said. "He's a joker. If he was the champion, it would be my pleasure to wait for him, but he's nobody in the division.

"I'm rooting for [Silva]. I hope and I think he will be the champion and when we have the fight I think we will do very well."

This article first appeared on ESPN.com

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