Anderson Silva will go down as one of the greatest fighters in the history of the UFC. It was only after reeling off a record 17 straight wins that he lost the UFC middleweight belt to Chris Weidman.
But since then, h failed to win any of his five fights — four losses and one “no contest” decision — before he won a bout this weekend. Despite that, Silva feels like he’s got a good six or seven years left to fight:
“I’m so happy because in my heart I have energy. I have a lot of energy for fights … And I talked to my family. My family gives me support [to] finish my contract in the UFC,” Silva said during a recent conference call. “I think I have energy for fight for more years. I think maybe six, seven years. I don’t know. But I have energy. This is more important. I have energy. I have passion and I love my job.”
“I think this fight is great challenge for my time,” Silva said. “I think everything in my life now is for [challenging myself].”
Silva’s last true victory in the Octagon occurred at UFC 153, when he stopped Stephan Bonnar inside of a round to help salvage an injury-plagued event in Rio de Janeiro. Back then, the Brazilian was still the 185-pound king and regarded by many as the sport’s pound-for-pound best. These days, though, Silva is defined by more than wins and losses.
Silva is clearly one of the all-time greats, and I’m sure he can still compete at a high level. However, his recent record is such that were he anyone else, one more loss would send him out the door of the UFC. In fact, if he wasn’t Anderson Silva, he’d already be begging for a gig with Bellator, or one of the other promotions that exists off of the UFC’s former greats.
However, a handful of wins would shift Silva’s fortunes significantly. It was just three and a half years ago when Silva lost to Weidman in a bout that no one expected to end the way it did. A win on Saturday, followed by a couple more wins against quality opponents, and Silva will be set to challenge to get his belt back.
And, let’s face it, after holding it for longer than any belt has been held by one person in the UFC, that belt is his. He just has to get back to the point where he can regain it.