After his unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 183, Anderson Silva fell to the ground and broke down, openly crying in front of thousands of fans at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. “The Spider” was openly emotional, and for good reason, the victory over Diaz marked the end of what was a long journey for Silva.
Silva spent over a year on the sidelines recovering from a brutal leg injury that he suffered in his last appearance in the Octagon against Chris Weidman. He was determined to come back and at the very least, go out and end his career on a positive note.
After the fight, during the UFC 183 post-fight press conference, Silva hinted at retirement. As far as he was concerned, he did it. He came back, he won a big fight and escaped injury-free. He could finally leave the sport as the greatest of all time and walk away on his own terms.
Unfortunately for Silva, he was a bad boy leading up to the Diaz fight, as the news broke this week that he failed an out-of-competition drug test leading up to UFC 183, testing positive for two banned substances. An issue that he has spoken out against on many occasions — performance enhancing drugs — is now the final impression he is going to make on the sport if he does in fact retire as he alluded to this past weekend.
With that being said, it’s clear now that if he was emotional because he managed to end his career on a positive note and could finally leave the sport on top and on his own terms, he’s not done yet. He’s got more work to do. If he wasn’t satisfied leaving on a stretcher screaming in pain, he certainly won’t be pleased with his career ending on this note.
There are still plenty of reasons why Silva should continue with his legendary career. Below is a look at five of those reasons.
Money. “The Spider” has plenty of it, but you can always use more. Silva has a large family. He has a lot of children’s education to pay for. Like it or not, every fighter competing in MMA are classified as “prize fighters” for a reason. They train their hearts out, they put their shorts and fight gloves on and they lock themselves in a cage with another well-trained combatant for a prize. That prize is money.
While money is no doubt the least of the many reasons Silva should continue his career, it is certainly one of them.
#4. 2015 is the Year of the Goat
According to Chinese astrology, each year (starting from the Chinese New Year) is associated with an animal sign, occurring in a 12-year cycle. For example, 2015 is the year of the Goat. As we all know, in the world of professional sports, the term “goat” is often used as an acronym for “greatest of all time.” Few will argue that Anderson Silva is MMA’s “G.O.A.T.”
With that being said, for those who believe in superstitions, if for no other reason, “The Spider” should continue on in 2015 to see if this year truly is “the year of the goat.” Obviously this particular reason is all in good fun, but hey, you never know!
#3. The Good of the Sport
Silva has often spoke about the sport of MMA as something that is near and dear to his heart. Something he has a strong passion for and wants to help elevate to the next level.
Right now the UFC is in dire need of fighters who can headline big cards and sell pay-per-views. Sure, January was a very successful month for UFC in terms of pay-per-view business, but A. how often do you get a Jon Jones vs. Daniel Cormier kind of fight? and B. Silva was the other half of the equation, as his fight with Diaz is reportedly tracking well in terms of pay-per-view sales.
With Georges St-Pierre out of the picture, and other high-profile PPV draws such as Brock Lesnar, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz either retired, working for another company or past their PPV-drawing prime, Silva is one of only a handful of fighters who can do guaranteed strong numbers on pay-per-view.
He may have created a new pay-per-view draw in Chris Weidman by himself. If you take the two wins over Silva out of the picture, even if both could be considered fluke victories, I’m not so sure Weidman is as big of a star as he’s on the verge of becoming right now. While I’m not saying Silva should go out and lose to a bunch of guys to create the next generation of fighters who can draw on pay-per-view, he could greatly benefit the sport by sticking around for another fight or two while UFC creates, or at least attempts to create new draws.
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