Anderson Silva plans to hold final professional fight in Japan: ‘It completely makes sense’

Anderson Silva
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari - Zuffa LLC

Former undisputed UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva has laid out his desire to hold his final professional fight in the country of Japan, claiming a return to Asia to bow out of combat sports “completely makes sense” after the Brazilian icon laid the path for his star-studded career in the region. 

Silva, 47, began his professional mixed martial arts career back in June 1997 in his native Brazil, before travelling to Japan in March 2001 at a Shooto 2 event to take on Tatsuji Kato in an eventual unanimous decision win for the veteran.

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Set to make his combat sports return next month in Phoenix, Arizona – Silva, a native of Sao Paulo, is scheduled to tackle undefeated professional boxer, Jake Paul over the course of 12 rounds in a professional boxing match.

The former UFC middleweight champion made his return to the squared circle triumphantly with a clear-cut, split decision win over former boxing world champion, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. – to go with a first round knockout win over former undisputed UFC light heavyweight champion, Tito Ortiz.

Anderson Silva floats potential retirement fight in Japan

Speaking on his potential career swansong, Silva, who competed on seven separate occasions in Japan over the course of his iconic professional mixed martial arts career, insisted he would like to call a halt to his tenure in the country.

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“Oh, you know, when I stopped doing my last fight in the UFC, I talked to Japan about doing my last fight there,” Anderson Silva told Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “Because it completely makes sense, because I [started fighting] my professional career in Japan.”

“My first title belt I took in Japan in Shooto,” Anderson Silva continued. “And, yeah, maybe I want to fight in Japan. My last fight, you know, to prove my respect for the people of Japan, for my fans in Japan, too. And we’ll see. I don’t know.”

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Silva, a dominant former undisputed middleweight champion under the UFC banner, managed to land a total 10 successful title defenses during his time atop the division. Silva’s tenure with the organization came to a close back in October 2020 in the form of a knockout loss to the recently retired, Uriah Hall.

Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.