UFC fans, and MMA enthusiasts around the world will be heartened by the news today that one of the pound for pound greats in the sport, Anderson Silva, has admitted he may yet rethink his plan to retire at the end of his current contract.
The middleweight champion of the UFC, on a run of ten straight wins since joining the promotion, had stated last year in an interview with Brazilian channel SporTV that, “I’ll retire next year, I already gave my all. I don’t need to prove anything for anyone and within one year I’ll put my gloves aside.”
Later his situation was clarified by his manager and translator Ed Soares who said, “Anderson’s goal is to retire when he is 35. He still has six fights on his contract and he doesn’t turn 35 for another 18 months. I know he will finish his six fights before he considers hanging up his gloves.”
After his first round victory over Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 Silva now has three fights remaining on his contract. With title challengers such as Vitor Belfort (who he will fight next), Dan Henderson and Nate Marquardt all looking to claim his middleweight belt, whilst Silva himself has shown interest in further challenges in the light heavyweight and even heavyweight division, it would seem that there is the potential for far more than just a handful of fights left in his stellar career.
Up until this point Silva had given no indication of changing his mind. Now however in a new interview with Brazilian site Tatame it appears the MMA star may be having second thoughts.
(Translation): “I see my pupils in training evolving, talk with the Minotauro and there already starting to be a doubt if this is the hour to stop exactly… My family wants much that I retire as fast as possible, but I do not know if I would be happy with myself if I retired.”
There is a certain common ground here between Silva (34) and another legendary fighter Mirco Cro Cop (35) who, as we reported previously, has also discussed his concerns over retiring. Of course the difference between the two is that Silva is apparently still at the top of his game, seemingly improving with age, whilst time seems to have worn heavily on Cro Cop.
Silva’s latest coments are far from a definitive statement on his future. They do however suggest that we may yet see one of the sport’s most talented competitors in the octagon beyond his current contract. Much may depend on the outcome of his three remaining fights, starting with his title defence against Vitor Belfort early next year.