Silva’s Retirement Talk of Town

By Loretta Hunt Oct 16, 2008
Reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva's talk of pending retirement continues to have legs, confounding many fans who believe the Brazilian striker is just reaching his prime days in the sport.

In an exclusive video with Wednesday, Silva, who faces French Canadian striker Patrick Cote at UFC 90 on Oct. 25 in Rosemont, Ill., firmly reiterated his plans to fight out the six remaining fights on his UFC contract and then retire sometime in 2009.

“I believe my time is already over,” Silva confidently said, sitting comfortably at the top on an eight-fight winning streak with little challenge in immediate sight.

It seems that others, including Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, are not so sure.

“He’s talking about, but I don’t think he’s very perceptive on how it’s coming across to the media,” Soares said during a UFC 90 conference call Thursday. “Even before Anderson came into the UFC, his goal has always been to retire at the age of 35. He’s actually talking about it much sooner than all of us would have liked him to, but the reality of it is that his goal is to retire at 35. He has eighteen months before he turns 35.”

Soares -- who has stood beside the lanky Brazilian striker for much of an eight-year career that has spanned stints in Meca, Pride, Cage Rage, and now the famous Octagon –- did what any good manager would do. He left the door open for his client.

“What I believe is going to happen is that when he gets to 35, he’s gonna see how he feels at that point in time and I told him, ‘Let’s achieve your goal of getting to 35 and being in a position where you could retire, and at that point in time, you make your choices and if you feel like you have some more fights in you, let’s go for some more fights.’”

Silva, absent from the conference call, wasn’t able to expound on his manager’s thoughts. But if Silva's intentions remain unwavering, the question becomes what six lucky opponents stand in the increasingly revered Brazilian’s tracks?

A short diversion to the light heavyweight division last July against an outmatched James Irvin widened the potential pool of challengers.

“What Anderson wants to do is be involved in the biggest fights,” he said. “For him, he wants to fight the best in the world and he wants to put on the fights that the world wants to see.”

Soares said Silva would mine both the 185- and 205-pound divisions to make that happen.

Another road left yet traveled is the muay Thai artists’ aspirations to try his hands at boxing.

Last March, Silva voiced his interest in testing himself against Roy Jones Jr. in the ring, igniting talk that Silva was discontent with his UFC compensation and was looking toward bigger paydays. Though those rumors have been at least temporarily squashed as Silva enters his second MMA fight in four months, the curiosity must still linger.

“That’s always been a dream of his to box,” said Soares, “but right now, he’s a mixed martial artist and to be honest with you, we haven’t really thought much more about that.”
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