COMMENTARY | On Dec. 13, emotionally worn UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre announced he was vacating his title and taking a break from mixed martial arts. While St-Pierre did leave the door open for a return to the Octagon, the teleconference may have signaled his retirement.
One man who's not planning to retire anytime soon is former middleweight champ Anderson Silva -- no matter what happens in his rematch with Chris Weidman at UFC 168 on Dec. 28 in Las Vegas, nor what UFC President Dana White thinks.
And he's especially not going out the way UFC legend Chuck Liddell did in 2010, Silva told Roda Viva in Brazil (via MMAFighting.com).
"If I lose again, all the media will criticize me, say that I'm not the same anymore, and maybe Dana will say it's time to retire," Silva said. "He forced Chuck Liddell to retire. He didn't want to and is a guy that made history in the UFC, but you have to be prepared.
"I'd say 'Thank you for everything, but I'll continue doing what I love in other ways,'" he added. "I'd go to other promotions, fight in other sports, but I'd continue fighting because that's what I love to do."
Liddell (21-8-0, 13 KO/TKOs) ended his Hall of Fame career losing five of his last six fights, four of them by stoppage. That's when White intervened, telling Liddell it was time to hang up his gloves.
Conversely, before losing the title to Weidman at UFC 162 in July, Silva (33-5-0, 20 KO/TKOs) defended the belt a UFC-record 10 times and was riding a 16-fight, six-year winning streak.
And in his loss to Weidman, Silva was caught clowning.
"The Spider" had reportedly considered retirement prior to UFC 162 -- like St-Pierre, burdened by the pressures of being the champ. But now Silva is singing a very different tune and is motivated to reclaim the belt.
"The faster I end the fight, the better," he said. "I train the hardest I can to end it quickly. People might say 'Oh, he threw the first fight.' And if I lose again, some people will say I need to retire, that Weidman is the best. It's normal, and you have to be prepared for that."
The 38-year-old Brazilian has a lot left in the tank and has the opportunity to show it at UFC 168. Prior to the Weidman loss, "The Spider" had only one close call in his run as champ -- UFC 117 against Chael Sonnen.
Physically and mentally, Silva is a long way from retiring, perhaps even a Dan Henderson-esque distance. He signed a new 10-fight contract with the UFC earlier this year and is still considered the "Greatest of All Time" by many people, including St-Pierre. Plus, as long as he puts on good fights and sells Pay-Per-Views, it's hard to envision White attempting to force Silva into retirement.
But if he did, and "The Spider" was able to leave the UFC, other promotions would be wise to pounce.
Paul Putignano lives in Southern California, where he has covered mixed martial arts and a wide array of sports across the Greater Los Angeles area. His work has been published in a variety of newspapers and online publications.
- Martial Arts
- Sports & Recreation
- Anderson Silva
- Chuck Liddell
- Chris Weidman
- mixed martial arts
- Dana White