MMA fighter Anderson Silva announced that he will compete for a spot on the Brazilian taekwondo team at the 2016 Olympics
MMA fighter Anderson Silva announced Wednesday that he will compete for a spot on the Brazilian taekwondo team at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, according to the Associated Press.
Silva, who holds a black belt in taekwondo and trained in it when he was younger, said he is "trying to give back to the sport" that he began his career with.
"I know there will be difficulties, but it's a challenge I want to face," said Silva. "I know that I would not be able to compete at a high level today, I need to get back to training. But I have high expectations. You can't give up on your dreams. It's the greatest event in the world—every athlete wants to be there."
Taekwondo confederation president Carlos Fernandes said Silva wanting to compete is "a historic moment" for the sport, but added that Silva will have to earn his way onto the Olympic team and won't be given a spot just because of his UFC success.
Silva, who turned 40 last week, failed two drug tests in January. He said he does not think any potential sanctions from the Nevada Athletic Commission would hurt his ability to participate in the Olympics, according to the AP.
- Molly Geary