Due to his continued dominance in the UFC it’s easy to forget the fact that Anderson Silva is now 36 years-old and approaching the end of his career.

Exactly when Silva would finally hang up his gloves has been something of a mystery – he’s talked about it before and it had been suggested that he intended to do so at the age of 35, but later changed his mind.

During a new interview with Brazil’s SporTV Silva’s manager Ed Soares shed some light on the situation when he stated that the long-time champion was only a few fights away from calling time on his career.

“Sonnen would make a big fight, as would Dan Henderson and Georges St-Pierre, but we should recognize that Anderson only has around 4 fights left in his career,” Soares stated.”

If that is true, and given that he’s pushed his retirement date back in the past we shouldn’t take this as gospel, then it’ll be interesting to see which fighters do get the opportunity to face him.

Sonnen is all-but guaranteed to be one of them due to how close he came to defeating him back at UFC 117 and the fact that they have developed one of the sport’s most talked about rivalries.

Dana White has also indicated that a rematch with Dan Henderson is in his thoughts, assuming the former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion defeats Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua in November.

A fight with Georges St.Pierre has often been discussed, but the possibility of it happening still hangs in the balance as GSP seems somewhat reluctant to make the move up in weight in order to face him.

I’d also like to see Jon Jones name thrown into the mix as that’s another high profile fight that would be fitting for one of Silva’s last Octagon appearances, although the Brazilian doesn’t appear keen to take another fight at light-heavyweight.

Beyond that the options thin out rather quickly, especially if Silva is intent on staying at 185lbs. Michael Bisping is campaigning hard for the chance to face him, and depending on results he could become a legitimate challenger before Silva retires, but that doesn’t neccessarily qualify as the kind of ‘big fight’ that fans will want to see him in.

Personally I’d love to see him mix it up with the likes of ‘Shogun’ Rua, Lyoto Machida and Rashad Evans at 205lbs, but at this late stage in his career that may now be a pipedream.

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