Anderson Silva says his family will be a factor in the future of his career. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Anderson Silva wasn’t the only one to break down in tears following his victory over Nick Diaz in the UFC 183 main event.
“The Spider” collapsed to the canvas during an emotional post-fight scene at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night -- and for good reason. After shattering his leg in a loss to Chris Weidman at UFC 168, there was speculation as to whether the ex-middleweight champion would ever compete again.
According to Silva, his five-round triumph over Diaz was the “culmination of a year of hard work, a lot of pain and a lot of rehabilitation.” It also allowed him to put the traumatic setback of more than a year ago completely in the rearview mirror.
“Now it’s over,” Silva said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference.
It might be time to say the same of the Brazilian’s storied mixed martial arts career. Following his victory over Diaz, Silva said he spoke to his 17-year-old son, Khalil, by phone. Khalil’s teary message of congratulations made it clear to Silva that he has some serious soul searching to do. His family wants him to hang up the four-ounce gloves and come home for good, but Silva recognizes that he still has the passion to compete.
“I need to talk to my family. I love my job; this is me,” he said. “I love to fight, but I need to talk to my family because this is more important in my life right now.
“When I talk to my son, my son cried and it was very difficult for me.”
It was also difficult to predict what might transpire between Silva and Diaz inside the cage heading into their bout, but The Spider was able to ignore his opponent’s taunts and gradually pull away on the scorecards with superior speed and accurate combinations.
It might not have been a performance for the highlight reel, but it was nonetheless a far better result for Silva than his previous two Octagon appearances. Gone was the clowning, playful Brazilian, replaced by a more business-like fighter who picked Diaz apart round-by-round.
“I wasn’t playing at any moment. I was serious and that’s what you saw,” Silva said. “Throughout the years all you see is the truth. Tonight was the truth, and I did exactly what I trained to do.”
For now, any thoughts of a return to championship glory will have to wait. Silva turns 40 in April, and he will have to consider more than himself when plotting his next move. If it wasn’t already obvious, the conversation with his son hammered home that point.
“It’s a difficult decision,” he said. “It’s very difficult.”