In April Anderson Silva will turn 36, and though he’s still the most dominant force in the UFC with 12 consecutive wins and seven consecutive title defenses, his manager Ed Soares is keen to stress that he can’t fight at this level forever.
“Whether people like it or not, he’s in the later phase of his career. I could see him fighting for another two years, for sure …,” Soares tells MMAWeekly. “He’s probably got a good five or six fights left to do, I believe.”
Therefore it’s important that the UFC makes the best use out of the remaining time they have with the pound-for-pound great, and luckily things may be shaping up nicely in that regard.
Silva’s next challenge comes at UFC 126 when he defends his middleweight belt against fellow Brazilian Vitor Belfort, and after that there is growing talk of a superfight with welterweight champ Georges St.Pierre.
“I think Anderson’s focus right now is Vitor Belfort. That’s what we’re focused on,” Soares says, but it’s clear the idea appeals to them. “Georges St-Pierre is an incredible fighter. He’s definitely the best fighter at 170 pounds. It would be an honor to fight Georges St-Pierre, just like it would be an honor for Georges to fight Anderson. It’s two great champions going in there and answering the question who the best pound-for-pound fighter is in the world. I think it could be a huge fight. ”
Meanwhile UFC president Dana White has admitted he still longs to see Silva fighting again at 205lbs where he’s already had highly successful test runs against both James Irvin and Forrest Griffin, both of whom failed to make it out of the opening round against him.
So there’s plenty of challenges ahead for ‘The Spider,’ which is exactly what he’s looking for as he looks to leave a lasting legacy in the sport.
Meanwhile Soares just hopes that Silva’s remarkable MMA story will have a happy ending.
“In a perfect world, I’d like to see Anderson retire in the UFC going undefeated in the UFC,” Soares says. “If I could have my perfect world, that’s what I would love to see.”