The greatest and most decorated middleweight champion of the UFC, Anderson Silva has been officially released from his contract. Silva’s last fight showed that he cannot compete with the top 10 middleweights anymore and is already 45 years old. Dana White has said that Silva won’t fight in the UFC ever again.
Although Silva did not have an official retirement speech like Khabib did where he leaves his fight gloves on the octagon, fans want him to retire. Most great fighters like Jon Jones and Israel Adesanya looked up to Anderson Silva. If those types of championship fighters idolized you, that means you were one of the best of your era.
Silva holds the record for the longest UFC win streak which was 16. His signature front-kick knockout to Vitor Belfort changed the standard view of MMA. Joe Rogan has said he has not seen someone get knocked out by a front kick. It is unheard of, but Silva was just a different breed.
Due to a lack of competitors in the Middleweight, he climbed up another division just to have some challenges in his fights. Unfortunately, Silva was just levels above everyone. When he fought Forrest Griffin, who just lost his title last fight, he ran through him like taking candy from a baby. He was just too good for everyone.
The Anderson Silva run almost came to a halt when he faced Chael Sonnen the first time. Sonnen was winning all the rounds until the last minute of the fight, where Silva caught Sonnen with a triangle choke. It showed how great of a champion Silva was when he came back from such an adversary. It was one of the greatest comebacks in UFC history. It is equivalent to losing 11 rounds in boxing and knocking the opponent out.
The Champion’s run eventually came to an end when Chris Weidman knocked him out. Silva was granted a rematch but sadly lost due to a leg injury. It was the beginning of the decline of Silva. He was still good but cannot compete against the top contenders anymore.
Of all the fights he had after he lost the Champion, the most important was against Israel Adesanya. The fight showed a shade of the prime Silva and also the passing of the torch. Adesanya eventually won the championship title. Growing up, Adesanya started professional kickboxing but always watched Silva as a fan.
Anderson Silva is open to join other organizations such as Bellator, or even in Japan. But the fans are concerned for Silva’s health. He has nothing more to prove, and already has gyms opened in Brazil. Money is not an issue, the problem is that Silva just loves to compete. It was ironic since how Uriah Hall finished him was the same as how Silva finished Griffin.
Fans don’t want to see what happened to Chuck Liddell, happen to Silva as well. Old Liddell fought Ortiz after 8 years of post-retirement. When the fight happened, Liddell looked slow and old. It was such a pity in the end when Ortiz knocked him out cold. Liddell is also one of the biggest UFC stars in his era so it was sad to watch.
Let us hope Silva won’t end up on that route and retire safely. Not all fighters have the convenience of retiring on top, but sometimes it is better to retire while still healthy rather than risk your health in order to come off a win.