Anderson Silva is a free agent. The 45 year old is on a bad run of results but remains one of the greatest mixed martial artists in the history of the sport and there has been a lot of speculation as to where the former UFC middleweight champion might end up next.
Silva made his name fighting for Pride but the Brazilian won’t be competing for the biggest Asian promotion of the modern era. ONE Championship CEO / Founder Chatri Sityodtong explicitly ruled out the idea of signing him in an exclusive interview with Fightful,
“I am a huge Anderson Silva fan. Without a doubt, he is one of the best ever to do it. That being said, athlete safety is our number one priority at ONE Championship. As such, we will not be bidding for his services. I wish Anderson much happiness and success in whatever he chooses to do next.”
During his peak Silva was widely regarded as being the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. He registered 16 consecutive UFC wins and held the promotion’s middleweight title for seven years.
But with only one win in his last nine fights Silva’s stock has fallen. The reference to ‘athlete safety’ suggests that the decision makers at ONE Championship feel the 45 year old would be better off retiring.
Bellator president Scott Coker also made it clear he won’t be signing Silva telling Ariel Helwani that,
“I have great respect for Anderson Silva, one of my favorite fighters and one of the greatest of all time, but I’m happy with our cast and the direction Bellator is heading.”
It remains to be seen where Silva will take his services. For Asian fight fans hoping to see the Brazilian back in this part of the world Rizin remains the most realistic destination.