Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva (pictured) revealed in October that at the age of 39, coming off back-to-back losses and a devastating broken shin that would keep him out of action for 13 months, had signed a 15-fight contract extension to remain with the promotion.
After making a triumphant return by beating Nick Diaz via unanimous decision Saturday at UFC 183, Silva looked and sounded more like a man that was prepared to sail into the sunset than make the climb back up the middleweight mountain.
After the favorable scorecards were rendered, Silva immediately collapsed to the canvas and started crying. It was on the same MGM Grand Garden Arena floor that he withered in pain on in December 2013 after snapping his shin in two. “The Spider” said he was thanking God for allowing him to return from such a horrific injury in order to taste victory one more time. But was it, one final time?
“I need to talk to my family. I love my job. This is me. I love to fight, but I need to talk to my family because this is more important in my life now,” Silva stated at the post-fight press conference. “I love my job. I love fighting, but I need to talk to my family.
“My son talked to me, serious. When I talked to my son, my son cried. ‘Dad, stop please. Back home, please. Stop. You don’t need more fights.’ So I need to talk to my family. I talk serious now.”
Silva is the most decorated champion in UFC history with a standing record of 10 straight title defenses. He also holds the record for most consecutive UFC wins with 16. If the popular Brazilian decided to walk away, everybody would understand.
He had nothing left to prove to anybody when he decided to return from his broken shin. If anything, it seemed like he just wanted to prove to himself that he could come back from such a fracture.
Silva owns a 34-6 professional record is and regarded by many as MMA’s GOAT.
If last night was in fact Silva’s swan song, here’s to you, Spider: