It was hardly a surprise to hear longtime former middleweight champion Anderson Silva hint at retirement after his decision win over Nick Diaz in the main event of last night’s (Sat., January 31, 2015) UFC 183 from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After all, the 39-year-old “Spider” had just come back off of a devastating leg injury that kept him out of the cage for just over 13 months, and with the UFC record for most consecutive title defenses still intact, the all-time great just doesn’t have anything more to prove.
He said he would have to talk over his fighting future with his family, but UFC President Dana White isn’t buying any of that. Speaking to the UFC on FOX broadcast team, White said that we couldn’t forget that Silva often says one thing and does another. Because of that, he doesn’t believe the ultra-competitive “Spider” is actually done for good:
“Every time Anderson talks publicly whether it is to the press or whatever, you always walk away going ‘what just happened? Did he just retire?’ He said he is not going to do this and he is not going to do that. Anderson Silva is a competitor. I think he wanted to come into tonight, get over the — I mean, you guys know better than anybody knows — when you are coming off an injury you always feel a little, you know. This guy broke his shin in half. That is a serious injury to come back from. This isn’t basketball, this isn’t baseball, this is combat sports where you go in and have full contact with another human being. And you know, Anderson made it five rounds tonight.”
White may have a good point, yet it genuinely felt like Silva was seriously considering retirement as he spoke with Joe Rogan in the Octagon directly following his win. Still, although Diaz is nowhere near the level of the truly elite middleweights that populate the division’s Top 5 rankings, “The Spider” thoroughly outstruck him, making the left of side of his face and body a bloody and battered mess from repeated precision shots.
True, they may not have been as accurate, fast, or powerful, as they once were, but Silva may have also been fighting a bit tentative to make sure he got that first win under his belt as White insinuated.
If he does continue fighting, he’s going to have a tough time with contenders like Jacare Souza, Lyoto Machida, Luke Rockhold, and Yoel Romero; let alone his kryptonite in champion Chris Weidman, and he just doesn’t have time to work his way back up the rankings.
He may not have the desire either, and this point, we just couldn’t blame him.
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