Anderson Silva released by UFC, eligible to sign with another promotion

Anderson Silva
Image via @ufc on Instagram (photographer not listed)

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva, one of the greatest fighters in the promotion’s history, is no longer part of its roster.

On Thursday, MMA Fighting reported that Silva has officially been released from the UFC roster, which means he’s now free to compete for another promotion, should he so choose.

Anderson Silva ruled over the UFC middleweight division from 2006 to 2013. During that time, he defended his title against the likes of Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen (twice), Vitor Belfort, and Yushin Okami. He also picked up light heavyweight wins over James Irvin, Forrest Griffin, and Stephan Bonnar.

More recently, Silva has fallen on hard times. The legend is 1-7 in his last seven fights, sandwiching a close decision win over Derek Brunson between losses to Chris Weidman (twice), Michael Bisping, Daniel Cormier, Israel Adesanya, Jared Cannonier and most recently, Uriah Hall.

The fight with Hall, which went down on Halloween night, was widely expected to be Silva’s last in the UFC, so news of his release is not surprising. However, it will be interesting to see whether the aging MMA legend decides to ride off into the sunset or sign with another promotion.

While it’s possible Silva could be scooped up by a promotion like Rizin, ONE Championship, or the PFL, Bellator boss Scott Coker has already ruled out signing the former UFC champ to his promotion.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” the Bellator boss told MMA Junkie when asked about signing Silva. “He’s definitely one of the greatest fighters in the history of mixed martial arts. I really haven’t thought about it, but I think I’m happy with the way our roster is heading and the fighters that we have now. I think that’s my statement on that.”

What do you think the future holds for Anderson Silva?