Earlier today, on November 19th, word hit the street that Anderson Silva had been released from his UFC contract. The longtime middleweight great, now well into his 40s, has been on prolonged slide over much of the last decade—going back to his pair of brutal losses to Chris Weidman in 2013. In the years since, he’s logged just one officially recorded victory, a questionable decision over Derek Brunson at UFC 208. His last two bouts, against Jared Cannonier and Uriah Hall, have both seen the ‘Spider’ on the wrong end of TKOs.
However, if this seemed like a reasonable point for the world’s largest mixed martial arts promotion to part ways with their former PPV star, Dana White says that it just isn’t so. Speaking to TMZ, the UFC president told the outlet that while he now considers Silva to be officially “retired,” the fighter still has one fight left on his UFC contract. And should Silva wish to fight again in MMA, he’ll be right back in the Octagon.
Whether or not that happens seems like it could get hairy for all parties involved. While Silva sounded definite that his time in the UFC was done after his latest loss, he was much much less committed to the idea that he wouldn’t be fighting ever again.
“I don’t know,” Silva said, when asked to confirm that he was actually retiring. “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.”
At the same time, Dana White sounds much more committed to the idea that Silva will never fight in the Octagon.
“I made a big mistake,” White told reporters after Silva’s last loss. “I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight but out of respect to him, he’s a legend of this sport and a legend of this company, I did something that I disagreed with.
“I knew I was right and tonight proved I was right. Anderson Silva should never fight again.”
Just where that will leave the two parties if Silva decides he does want to keep his career inside the cage going is anybody’s guess.
UPDATE: White says he was mistaken and that Silva is actually released from his contract.