Many believe that it’s time for Anderson Silva to hang up his mixed martial arts (MMA) gloves for good. Even his family. However, the 43-year-old isn’t ready to walk away from the sport he loves quite yet. He knows that his days inside the Octagon are numbered, and once they’re gone, it’s a feeling he’ll yearn for the rest of his life.
Silva explained as much during today’s (Thurs. February 7, 2019) UFC 234 pay-per-view (PPV) pre-fight press conference. “The Spider” will take on young, dynamic striker Israel Adesanya in the co-main event (via MMA Fighting):
“When I talk to my kids and my wife and all my family, it’s all the same — ‘Why?! Don’t do that!’” Silva said. “And I say, OK. Let me tell you something. This is my life, this is me. And I need to do something for me.
“Because when I stop, I never come back. And at this point, my family say, ‘OK, just do it. Do it. Do it the best you can and come back safe for home.’ It’s not easy. Everybody here has a family and everybody’s families try to stay close to you, doing something for your [safety]. Because it’s a war. Inside the cage, everybody is not joking.
“Sometimes big accidents happen. I broke my leg. Sometimes you cut your face and back to home and look at your family and look at your kids. Everybody looks at you and says, ‘Why do you do that?’ It’s a passion.
“You love your job, you keep doing it. My family respects my job and respect my dreams. That’s why I continue to fight.”
The Brazilian once reigned as the undisputed and dominant champion at 185 pounds. After 10 successful title defenses, Silva was finally stopped in July of 2013 by Chris Weidman. It took him until February of 2017 to pick up another victory. He bested Derek Brunson via unanimous decision at UFC 208.
Now, Silva will attempt to knock off one of the hottest prospects in the middleweight division today.
What do you think about Silva’s explanation as to why he still fights?