Anderson Silva is unquestionably the world’s baddest mixed martial artist (when he wants to be) and it appears the UFC middleweight king is determined to go out on top and on his terms.
“There was a time when many people pestered me to stop, my wife, my family, [my longtime manager Ed Soares] among others,” Silva told Sherdog.com of retirement. “I’ve been thinking about this recently, but I talked with Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and he advised me to keep fighting.”
The 35-year-old recently signed a six-fight contract extension to remain with the world’s premier MMA promotion, which he’ll break-in this weekend at UFC 117 against Chael Sonnen. Assuming the sport’s most efficient striker (when he wants to be) competes at least three times a year, as most elite fighters are expected, that will leave him at 37 when his deal expires.
Silva and Soares are well aware of what’s at stake. When it comes to “The Spider,” we’re not just talking about a Hall of Fame legacy, but the term G.O.A.T. comes to the forefront. Both also understand that nobody this side of Randy Couture has sustained a world class level past the age of 35.
“I want him to stop when he feels good. I want him to stop when he’s the best,” Soares expressed. “He’s the best today and I’d like him to retire the same way.
“As he always says, I want him to stop before others stop him.”
Silva holds a dominant 26-4 professional record and has finished 19 of his victims before the final horns sounded. The planet’s deadliest assassin (when he wants to be) has rattled off 12 consecutive lopsided victories, which includes three straight lackluster title defenses that most have attributed to boredom.
Despite his decorated resume, Silva claims he has plenty left in his tank and is fully prepared to continue his steamrolling ways.
“The truth is, people want me to stop, but I’ll stop a lot of people before anyone stops me,” Silva matter-of-factly stated.