It was an emotional scene in Las Vegas on Saturday, with Anderson Silva pensively exiting the Octagon.
The MMA legend had just lost by fourth-round TKO to Uriah Hall, his seventh loss in his last nine fights. His prime continued to recede into the rear-view mirror, with only one UFC win in the last eight years.
There had been widespread speculation that this would be the MMA legend’s final bout, and he certainly acted the part.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 1, 2020
Silva is unquestionably one of the greatest fighters ever, having dominated the UFC middleweight division for years during his 16-fight win streak from 2006-12. He was one of the faces of the UFC during its rise to the mainstream, and has left an indelible mark on the sport.
However, Silva didn’t quite retire following the bout. Instead, he only confirmed this would only be his final UFC bout, with pDana White saying he wouldn’t let Silva fight with the promotion again despite having one fight left on his contract.
Silva said he will still have to decide if he will retire for good.
Anderson Silva tells Michael Bisping this is “the final day” in the UFC. But then when asked if it’s his final MMA fight, he says, “I don’t know,” with a smile.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 1, 2020
That still didn’t stop a crowd of UFC fighters from saying their goodbyes to Silva, with some outright calling Saturday the Brazilian’s last fight.
The final walk! That should be the name of Anderson Silva’s story! What an emotional moment for Hall and especially Silva. I don’t know if words can even describe the thoughts and what Silva felt pre and post-fight. Anderson “The Spider Silva”- Forever a legend!#Vegas12
— Aljamain Sterling (@funkmasterMMA) November 1, 2020
So emotional watching the last fight for Anderson Silva in the UFC.
He has inspired entire generations of martial artists and cannot wait to see him be inducted into the HOF #UFCVegas12
— Megan Anderson (@MeganA_mma) November 1, 2020
Man, tonight I watched the guy who got me in the sport of mma, compete his last time in the UFC octagon. This is a very surreal feeling knowing an era is closed.. #UFCVegas12
— Julian marquez (@JMarquezMMA) November 1, 2020
@SpiderAnderson thank you for everything!!! you a very special human being. You entertained and blessed the world with your greatness 🙏🏼
— Diego Sanchez UFC (@DiegoSanchezUFC) November 1, 2020
Others merely had kind words and thanks for the 45-year-old.
Wow, Thank you Anderson, we love you
— BONY (@JonnyBones) November 1, 2020
What a great career for the Spider! One of the best ever! #UFC
— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) November 1, 2020
True example of a martial artist. Always respectfull and skill that will never be forgotten. @SpiderAnderson absolute legend!! 🙏
— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) November 1, 2020
Thank you for all you done @SpiderAnderson 🇧🇷🏆👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— Arianelipski (@Ariane_lipski) November 1, 2020
You have respect a 45 year old man , getting himself in shape , making weight and competing with younger / some of the best athletes in the world! Thanks for everything legend Anderson Silva, single handily carrying our sport! #UFC
— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunson) November 1, 2020
Thank you for every second of your magic @SpiderAnderson! 👏
— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) November 1, 2020
There was, however, a dissenter in the group: Conor McGregor.
Sad to see tonight, but I say keep going! Real fighters never lose that fire so why try to force it out? Simply put time into finding the correct competition and continue on. The right competition is out there, for all levels and ages. Find it and do what you love to do! Forever! https://t.co/qFvPtCQuVE
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) November 1, 2020
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