Anderson Silva Chasing “Rocky” Storybook Ending

Anderson Silva still
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

If Anderson Silva is planning on retiring after UFC 234, it sure doesn’t sound like it.

Tonight’s UFC 234 co-main event will feature Israel Adesanya facing Anderson Silva in a highly anticipated fight where fans expect to see either the passing of the torch or the reigniting of the flame. Following a very emotional UFC 234-weigh-in interview, where Silva thanked fans and the UFC for giving him “one more time” there has been speculation that this will be Anderson Silva’s retirement fight. However, the facts seem to contradict that.

From the onset, Anderson Silva has not hidden that the main impetus for him accepting this fight is due to being promised a world title shot should he be victorious. Dana White has also confirmed that the fight will determine the next challenger for the middleweight championship as recently as this very week. And in an interview with UFC.com this week, Anderson Silva sounded like a man not content with his past but planning for his future:

“First of all, I need to win the fight, so step by step,” Silva said. “I believe (UFC President) Dana (White) gave me this opportunity because I was champion for a long, long time. I’m working hard for that (title shot) and I’ll try to prove for all my fans in the world I have a chance to take my belt back.”

Israel Adesanya has expressed doubt that Anderson Silva is actually retiring and theorized that this was mind games being used by The Spider. Silva’s own words lend some credence to Adesanya’s theory, as Silva has stated that a storybook ending for his career does not contain a victory tonight, but one more victory after tonight, where he would once again become UFC champion:

“That’s a Rocky movie,” Silva said. “Imagine Anderson Silva wins and takes the belt back. Adrian! (Laughs) It’s the Rocky story. But I’m very happy because it’s a challenge. Israel is a great challenge, and I pass this, hopefully I fight for the belt and hopefully it’s a good story and I win and take the belt and drop the mic. It’s done, over, next step.”

Do you think Anderson Silva will get his storybook career ending?