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Anderson Silva to Bellator? Scott Coker weighs in on Silva’s free agency

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Bellator boss Scott Coker discussed the possibility of signing former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

When Anderson Silva lost to Uriah Hall by TKO in the main event of UFC Vegas 13, the legendary Brazilian—and former UFC middleweight champion—satisfied the last requirements of current UFC contract.

If UFC President Dana White is to be believed, the 45-year-old should not expect a new deal from the UFC. White made it clear, to anyone who would listen, that he does not want to see ‘The Spider’ compete again.

After the Hall fight Silva took to Instagram to thank fans and offer a ‘goodbye’ message. The statement did not say for sure whether Silva would retire from the sport or look for fights in different promotions.

One home that seems tailor-made for a post-UFC Silva is Bellator MMA. For years now the competing promotion has signed fighters coming off long UFC tenures, as well as legends of the sport who are deep into their forties.

However, when Bellator President Scott Coker was recently asked about the prospect of signing Silva, he gave a surprising answer.

“I have a lot of respect for him,” said Coker to MMA Junkie. (h/t MMA Mania). “He’s definitely one of the greatest fighters in the history of mixed martial arts. I really haven’t thought about it, but I think I’m happy with the way our roster is heading and the fighters that we have now. I think that’s my statement on that.”

This statement from Coker certainly suggests that Bellator MMA has little to no interest in one of the most popular and, in his prime, exciting fighters in the sport. However, we shouldn’t rule out that a faux lack of enthusiasm is exactly the kind of approach you would expect from a promoter looking to make the best deal possible for a fighter who could (and should) command sizeable compensation.

Anderson Silva stormed into the mass MMA consciousness on June 28, 2006 when he utterly dismantled Chris Leben. Silva’s UFC debut was so impressive that he was awarded an immediate title shot versus Rich Franklin at UFC 64 four months later.

Silva put away Franklin with some of the most devastating Muay Thai moves ever seen in the Octagon. As champion Silva defended the middleweight crown on a record 10 straight occasions. During his Golden Period Silva beat Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Forest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, Yushin Okami and Vitor Belfort. Over that span he broke records for most finishes in the UFC middleweight division (11), most finishes in UFC title fights (9) and most knockdowns in UFC history (18).

In 2013 Silva was dethroned by Chris Weidman, who knocked him out at UFC 162. Since that loss Silva has gone 1-6 1 NC. His last two losses were both by TKO.