Still considered by many pundits as the greatest MMA fighter to ever live, former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva did enter a rough patch in the later years of his career. Not only did his KO loss to Chris Weidman mark the beginnning of his downfall and more losses were to come, but positive drug tests soon followed.
In 2015, Anderson’s win over Nick Diaz was overturned to a no contest once traces of the anabolic steroids Drostanolone and Androstane were found in his samples. Later on, in 2016, Silva was forced to pull out of his Kelvin Gastelum fight due to a second positive test, but in 2018, USADA exonerated the former champion, claiming contaminated substances were found in the samples then.
Now scheduled to take on Jared Cannonier at UFC 237, Silva told Combate he doesn’t worry too much about whether or not those positive tests stain his legacy. Instead of that, Anderson prefers to focus on the good side of his career and compares his situation to that of the light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones.
“I don’t think [they taint my career],” Silva said. “Both me and Jon Jones have been through some difficult things in the sport. To come back from what we had to live through, that’s more than loving what you like. It takes a special kind of person. I have great affection for him. We talk whenever we can, I try to give him some of my experience as to how to live in the fighting world, but behind the cameras. Jon Jones has everything to create a great story. He already is a great story. You can’t debate what he did for the sport. The things he did, which I ended up doing, they were flaws we had no control over and we payed for them. There were more good things than bad. Jon Jones has my respect, I’m sure he’s the absolute champion of this sport.”
Currently at the age of 44, Silva acknowledges his time in the sport is coming to an end. After dealing with Jared Cannonier in May, Anderson believes he will finish out his contract, claiming there is nothing else for him to do in MMA.
“I think I have three or four more fights, I have to check my contract,” Silva said. “I intend to fight them all, I feel well. Much to the chagrin of some and joy of others, I intend to remain there, bugging them. Of course every fighter thinks about the title, but I already that whole title experience. I held the title for nine years and was undefeated for ten. None of that is new to me. Everything that comes now, we take it as wisdom. The goal is to feel well, do what I love and try to develop what we practice in camp. Everyday we renew ourselves, every camp we find out that there is more to learn.”
Silva vs. Cannonier will co-headline UFC 237 on May 11th. The card will be headlined by a women’s strawweight title fight between the champion, Rose Namajunas and contender Jessica Andrade.