Anderson Silva won’t compete in a UFC cage again, but Conor McGregor believes there still is a place in mixed martial arts for the legend.
The 45-year-old Silva ended his illustrious career in the octagon with a third straight loss, this time to Uriah Hall in Las Vegas following defeats to Jarod Cannonier and current champion middleweight Israel Adesanya.
In fact, Silva has only recorded one victory in his last nine fights and when asked if he was retiring, responded by saying he will go home and mull his options over, pointing out it is hard for fighters to stop.
And McGregor urged him to fight again if that’s what he wants. “Sad to see tonight, but I say keep going,” he said in response to a fan on Twitter asking for his opinion on Silva’s display.
“Real fighters never lose that fire so why try to force it out? Simply put time into finding the correct competition and continue on. The right competition is out there, for all levels and ages. Find it and do what you love to do! Forever!”
But it will definitely not be in the UFC, Dana White explained in no uncertain terms.
“He fought a guy that has absolutely zero output,” White told reporters after the fight. “They’re in a five-round main event on ESPN and they threw 11 punches in the second round.
“You fight any of these other savages, he’ll be in big trouble, and he’ll take a load of punishment. Uriah Hall threw 11 punches in the second round. Uriah Hall is one of the most gun-shy fighters in the UFC.
“And look at Anderson. When the fight was over, he couldn’t even stand up to do his interview. He had to sit down and do an interview.
“I made a big mistake and I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight. He’s a legend of this sport and he’s a legend of this company, and I did something I disagreed with. I knew I was right, and tonight proved I was right, and Anderson Silva should never fight again.”
Many fighters were quick to hail the impact of Silva in the aftermath of his loss, while Adesanya explained it was an honour to be in attendance to see his final fight.
Former middleweight king Silva holds multiple records within the UFC, including most consecutive wins (16), the joint highest number of knockouts (11), has been the main event 19 times – another record – while at 2,457 days, holds the record for longest title reign in the promotion’s history.
“He’s the man,” Adesanya, the current middleweight king said. “I’m just honoured to be here, man. The guys that got me in the game and I get to watch him fight his last fight in UFC.
“He was competitive, he looked good and froze Uriah at first and then Uriah found his confidence later on.”
His final appearance under the UFC banner comes a week after Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his decision to quit with a perfect 29-0 record, though White believes he will be back for a 30th fight.
When McGregor was asked for his honest opinion on the lightweight champion, who he lost to in October 2018, he said: “A phenomenal grappler fighter.
“The current best in the sport with it. I’ve the answer however and they know it.”
McGregor is next in action against Dustin Poirier in January.