Dubai: Anderson Silva, one of the greatest mixed martial artists of all time, chases more UFC glory when he takes on Uriah Hall in what may well be the last fight of his illustrious career at Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The Brazilian, who is the sport’s oldest active MMA fighter at the age of 45, will give Hall a significant seven-year age advantage but also the ultimate test of his fighting career when they face off in the middleweight main event as the UFC returns to its home in Vegas following a five-event series at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Needless to say, most UFC fans will be rooting for the Brazilian legend who has won 36 of his 45 career fights with 23 coming by way of knockout. Hall has fought half that many fights for 15 wins and 11 KOs.
Silva started his UFC career in 2006 following a decade on the kick-boxing scene and has shown the right discipline and resilience necessary to have been able to compete at the highest level until this day.
However, recent performances by ‘The Spider’ have shown a sharp decline in his skills, speed and fight IQ, which resulted in him losing four of his last outings since 2016, including Jared Cannonier and Israel Adesanya last year.
To make things worse, Hall has said that he not going to allow Silva to steal his thunder in his first UFC main event appearance.
Speaking to the media during this week’s virtual press conference from Las Vegas, Silva cleared the air about his much speculated retirement as he sounded cheerful and enthusiastic.
“Everybody’s asking this, and the answer will always be the same,” he said. “Maybe it’s the last, maybe it’s not. Maybe it’s the last fight in the UFC, yes, in agreement between Dana (White) and I. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll do the other fight I have in my contract, maybe not. Anything can happen.
“After the fight, we’ll probably see what we’ll do, to continue fighting or not, but my wish is to continue, for sure.
“But let’s wait. Uriah is the focus now, and after that we’ll see the next steps.”
Silva has two bouts left on his contract with the UFC, and he will still be eligible to fight even if he retires this weekend.
“It’s the correct way to market (the card as my retirement bout), because it might be my last fight in the UFC, but we’ll see,” Silva said. “Let’s wait to see what happens.”
Also on the card, Andre Fili (21-7 MMA, 9-6 UFC) takes on Bryce Mitchell (13-0 MMA, 4-0 UFC), while Cortney Casey (9-8 MMA, 4-7 UFC) faces Priscila Cachoeira (9-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC) in a women’s flyweight bout.
From midnight Sunday, UAE
Middleweight Uriah Hall v Anderson Silva
Featherweight Andre Fili v Bryce Mitchell
Middleweight Kevin Holland v Charlie Ontiveros
Heavyweight Maurice Greene v Greg Hardy
Lightweight Bobby Green v Thiago Moises
Lightweight Chris Gruetzemacher v Alexander Hernandez
Bantamweight Adrian Yanez v Victor Rodriguez
Middleweight Sean Strickland v Jack Marshman
Welterweight Cole Williams v Jason Witt
Light-heavyweight Dustin Jacoby v Justin Ledet
Flyweight Cortney Casey v Priscila Cachoeira
Bantamweight Miles Johns v Kevin Natividad
Anderson Silva in Numbers
Saturday will be Silva’s 21st UFC main event, the most in history.
Silva holds the UFC record for most consecutive victories
Silva has the record for the longest title reign in UFC history
Stoppage victories in UFC middleweight — the most in divisional history.