01 Jan Anderson Silva after UFC Vegas 12: ‘It’s tough to say it’s my last, because this is my air’
After hinting he might fight on after UFC Vegas 12, former middleweight champion Anderson Silva hedged on calling it quits following a loss to Uriah Hall on Saturday night.
Speaking to his former opponent, ex-champ turned UFC commentator Michael Bisping, Silva sat for his post-fight interview and initially indicated he would retire after his seventh loss in nine fights.
“A fight is a fight,” said Silva, 45. “When you come inside [the octagon], you have a ref, a chance to win, 50-50. Today, Uriah is the best. He came to win the fight, and I enjoyed my moment, and sometimes, it’s very difficult for us to stop. But today is the final day, and I’m so happy to be here and doing my last show for my fans in the UFC and for the UFC family.”
The once-dominant middleweight king fought back tears as he spoke about stopping. And when asked by Bisping to confirm he wouldn’t fight on, Silva proved as elusive as he was in his heyday.
“I don’t know,” Silva said. “First I go back home, and I will see everything with my team, and let’s go see, because it’s tough to say it’s my last, because this is my air, this is what I’ve done for my entire life with my heart. And let’s go see.”
Silva and his team had said as much in several interviews, though he’d also said the fight with Hall would be his last one. UFC President Dana White did not take kindly to what he said was a retraction of an earlier agreement between them. White said he wouldn’t ever put Silva in the octagon again.
The line in the sand came after a fight where the ex-champ appeared to avail himself well against another younger and faster opponent. Silva won the first two rounds on one judges’ scorecard and one of three rounds before Hall’s fourth-round finish.
White attributed that to low output from Hall, who picked up his third straight win. But there were moments where Silva gave as good as he got. The ex-champ was showered with praise from his UFC colleagues after the fight.
As of now, “The Spider” has one fight remaining on his UFC contract. Whether White releases him or tries to hold him perpetuity will likely depend on the conversations that take place after all parties have settled down.
Right now, emotions are running high on all sides. Asked about his favorite moments in the UFC, a question that might have fit better if he’d declared his retirement, Silva proved similarly hard to pin down.
“I have different ones, between me and you,” he told Bisping. “I have great memories. I have the best moments in my life with every single opponent I fight here in the UFC.”
Check out the full interview.
Admitting “sometimes it’s very difficult for [fighters] to stop,” @SpiderAnderson will go home before deciding whether #UFCVegas12 was his final fight. pic.twitter.com/PxwOiTOF6A
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) November 1, 2020