In a new interview, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva said he wanted to retire in 2012 before his first fight with Chris Weidman at UFC 162.
Silva was the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport at the time and was coming off of a 17-fight win streak with culminated in a vicious TKO over Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153. There were talks of a superfight against UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre and Silva were in attendance for GSP’s win over Carlos Condit at UFC 154, but the fight never materialized for whatever reason. When the GSP fight didn’t happen, Silva had planned on retiring.
In a recent interview with the UFC, Silva admitted that he told the UFC in late 2012 that he wanted to retire. According to Silva, UFC president Dana White and former owner Lorenzo Fertitta bought him a new Bentley in what he believes was a bribe to get him to continue fighting even though he wanted to call it quits and spend time with his family.
“I want to stop, I want a time for myself, to stay with my family. I have been doing this for years and I’m losing contact with my kids. I’m only training and training, it’s not working for me anymore,” Silva said (via MMAFighting.com).
Silva then agreed to fight the undefeated Weidman at UFC 162 but said if he won that fight he was ready to retire. He ended up losing and called off those retirement plans.
“But one day before I started my camp to fight Weidman, I already was too saturated. I never talked about this, never used this term ‘if I win.’ I said to (my wife), ‘If I win, I’ll stop, I won’t fight anymore,’” Silva said.
Silva then lost the rematch to Weidman at UFC 168 and broke his leg in the process. He says that if he won the rematch, he would have retired that night.
“I would have stopped if I had won the fight, I wouldn’t fight anymore, but I ended up breaking my leg. I think that was a message from God saying to me, ‘Look, man, you’re not supposed to stop yet. It took so long for you to get here and now you want to stop?’ I don’t know, I think those are subliminal messages that stay in your head,” Silva said.
Unfortunately for Silva, not retiring in the first place has caused him seven years of bad fortune in the Octagon. From 2013 to 2019, Silva went 1-6, 1 NC inside the Octagon, going from a 33-4 record at the peak of his career to a 34-10, 1 NC record now, which has tarnished his legacy in the view of some fans. If he had retired in the first place the losing skid would have never happened, but then again, it’s easy to look back and say ‘what if.’ Regardless of his recent misfortunes, Silva is still one of the best to ever fight in MMA.
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