A few weeks back, it didn’t seem like there was a ton of talk about whether Anderson Silva might retire following UFC 168, due to the legend’s consistent statements that he intends to finish out his UFC contract (a ten fight deal). In fact, not long ago, Silva said he’d continue to fight, even if UFC boss man Dana White thought he should hang up the gloves. Some observers have taken the comments with a grain of salt, however, due to the fact Silva is 38 years-old, and it wasn’t that long ago he was saying he planned to call it quits at 35.
Well, now, just days after Silva relayed at a pre-fight presser that he still plans to finish out his UFC deal, a rather interesting interview with MMA Fighting.com has surfaced. Early on, Silva was asked by Ariel Helwani why he wasn’t wearing any Nike attire. “The Spider” is endorsed by the sporting goods giant. The former middleweight champ relayed that the question is one for White, not him…
Then, Silva was asked if he was close to retiring after his UFC 162 loss to Weidman, and the renowned fighter admitted that “we’re always close to calling it quits.” Okay. So, when Helwani asked whether there’s anything behind rumours that Silva might indeed, walk away from fighting after UFC 168, he stated:
“Maybe; maybe,” when asked by Helwani if Saturday could be his last fight.
“I don’t know,” when asked to offer a percentage on how likely his retirement could be. “I have a great, great chance for stopping the fight”
Now sure, some of the comments back-and-forth may have been lost in translation, and Silva could be just playing up the retirement talk for various reasons, but it was an odd interview to say the least. Especially when you compare it to some of the more recent ones Silva has done. Was Silva saying he might retire, but it depends on whether he wins? It’s hard to say.
If the consensus G.O.A.T. walks away from the game Saturday night, the UFC will head into 2014 without two of it’s biggest stars and pay-per-view draws (yes, the other being Georges St. Pierre). Even more reasons to watch the action.