Should Anderson Silva Retire?
Anderson “The Spider” Silva did it again.
In extraordinary fashion, the Brazilian handed out yet another beatdown of the last man to defeat him (by disqualification) when he demolished Yushin Okami in the main event of UFC 134, which took place in Silva’s backyard of Brazil. It was vintage Silva as he patiently waited to figure out exactly what Okami was bringing with him to the cage. As soon as Silva figured it out, it was all over for Okami. “The Spider” dropped Okami with a jab while his hands were at his sides in the second round and popped his foe again with a blistering right hook that spelled demise for the Japanese fighter.
It was utterly ridiculous how easy Silva crushed his foe. The middleweight champion defended his title for a record ninth consecutive time and hasn’t lost in 14 fights—which in mixed martial arts years is like an eternity. To find when Silva legitimately lost a fight, you’d have to go all the way back to NYE 2004 when Ryo Chonan caught Silva with a flying scissor heel hook (just as hard to accomplish as it is to describe). Since then, Silva has been damn near unstoppable. He’s shredded everything in front of him and cleaned out the division twice over.
So now what?
While some say that Silva should take on welterweight champion (and #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world) Georges St-Pierre, that fight may not happen in the near future due to GSP’s insistence that he’s comfortable where he’s at and is not sure he can move up in weight. Others say that Silva should move up to the light heavyweight division where fighters like Jon Jones, Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans and others dwell. But the fact of the matter is that Silva is most comfortable at his own weight and hasn’t seemed too moved by the prospect of going up to 205.
So what should “The Spider” do?
Perhaps it’s time for Silva to hang them up. Yes, it will suck to have the best fighter in the world call it quits, but let’s take a look at the reality of the situation. For one, Silva is 36-years-old. He’s no spring chicken and the fact that he relies on his natural abilities and breaks most technical rules when it comes to fighting says that if he becomes a tad slower, he could be in danger. If you remember what happened the night when Roy Jones Jr. woke up a hair slower and was subsequently knocked out by Antonio Tarver—you can see what happens to fighters once their athletic ability evaporates.
What else does Silva have to prove? Nobody can beat him except for father time. For him to continue putting himself at risk just to wait until somebody beats him sounds counterproductive. In a sport where most fighters don’t retire on top, Silva may be doing himself a favor if he exits while still the best in the business. Selfish fans, such as myself, would love to see an Anderson Silva vs. Jon Jones fight. However, our selfishness does nothing for his health. That body has to be wearing thin and it may be time to at least entertain the thought. There’s nobody else in the middleweight division for “The Spider” to beat up on. Why wait for someone to land a lucky punch?
If Silva were to announce his retirement tomorrow, who could argue with him? You can try to say he doesn’t deserve to be called the greatest of all time, but the truth is that nobody has been able to touch him.
Why wait for an ass whooping when you can call it quits and be remembered when at your best?