It appears as though Anderson Silva hasn’t entirely shut the door on returning to MMA, and he’s even considered the location for his final fight.
The 47-year-old is currently scheduled to compete against YouTuber-turned-boxer Jake Paul on October 29 in Glendale, Arizona. Although his post-UFC boxing career has gone well so far, there’s no doubt that fans would be interested in the former UFC middleweight champion returning to MMA.
Silva recently appeared on The MMA Hour to discuss his upcoming bout with Paul, but host Ariel Helwani had to ask the UFC legend if he considered his MMA career to be officially over. “The Spider” not only kept the door open for an MMA return, but also revealed that he’d considered doing a final fight in Japan even as his UFC tenure was ending.
“You know, when I was doing my last fight in UFC, I talked to Japan about doing my last fight there,” Silva answered. “It completely makes sense because I started my professional career in Japan. My first title belt, I (won) in Japan, in Shooto. Yeah, maybe I fight in Japan my last fight to prove my respect for the people in Japan, and for my fans in Japan, too. We’ll see. I don’t know, we’ll see.”
Turning Back The Clock
Even if Silva’s answer was far from a guarantee that he’ll return to MMA, the mere notion of one of the sport’s true legends returning will be enough to get fans talking.
As exciting as the prospect would be, some fans would probably be quick to point out the manner in which Silva exited MMA. After famously losing his title to Chris Weidman at UFC 162 and breaking his leg in the immediate rematch, “The Spider” picked up a single win in 2017 and ended his time in the UFC with 3-straight losses before moving on to boxing.
Although Silva had some pre-UFC boxing experience, it had been over 15 years since he entered the ring when he took on Julio César Chávez Jr. in 2021. The Brazilian pulled off a significant upset with his split decision victory, and later that year he dispatched former UFC champion Tito Ortiz via first round knockout.
Silva will be the third UFC veteran Paul has faced after the 25-year-old defeated Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley (twice). After those disappointing performances, many MMA fans are hoping Silva’s size and striking expertise are enough for the 47-year-old to prevail on October 29.
How would you react to Silva returning to MMA for a final fight in Japan?