Mixed martial arts star Anderson Silva is aiming to fight for his native Brazil in taekwondo at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
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.”
Brazil’s taekwondo confederation president Carlos Fernandes said it was “a historic moment” for the sport.
Fernandes also dismissed concerns with the doping case and said Silva’s attempt to be in the Olympics will be great for taekwondo’s development in Brazil.
“Marketing is expensive these days,” Fernandes said. “We won the lottery with him wanting to be part of our team.”
Made it clear that Silva will have to fight his way into the Olympics squad.
Silva tested positive for steroids in January and is trying to overturn a temporary suspension imposed by UFC. He said he is not retiring from MMA, but his focus now will be on taekwondo.
He could receive further sanctions but it should not affect his Olympics chances as MMA has not signed up to the World Anti-Doping Agency code.