Anderson Silva, once the longtime UFC middleweight champion, was officially dropped by the promotion after 14 years of fighting in the Octagon, according to ESPN’s Marc Raimondi. Silva still had one fight left on his contract but has now reportedly been released.
The decision comes after a decisive loss against Uriah Hall that was seen by many as Silva’s final go-around with the UFC, but the fighter has so far held off on officially calling it a career. UFC president Dana White was particularly insistent that Silva would no longer fight with the promotion, and reiterated that sentiment to TMZ on Thursday.
Silva, who is 45 years old, has recorded only a single victory in his last nine fights, a span of seven years. White reportedly called Silva a lock of the UFC Hall of Fame, but it appears there’s no room in the UFC for the fighter that Silva is now.
What’s next for Anderson Silva?
With the UFC already closing its doors to Silva, Bellator president Scott Coker implied that his promotion isn’t interested in picking up Silva as a free agent, per ESPN’s Ariel Helwani.
With UFC releasing Anderson Silva, I asked Scott Coker if he has interest in signing AS:
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Anderson Silva, one of my favorite fighters & one of the greatest of all time, but I’m happy with our roster & the direction Bellator is heading.”
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 19, 2020
That would rule out the two biggest MMA promotions, though there are always smaller operations out there who might be interested in a fighter whose popularity has never been in question, especially in his native Brazil.
There’s also the ever-present possibility of retirement, and if that’s the route Silva takes, it’s the end of a truly legendary career for a man who began his UFC career with a record 16 straight victories.