Anderson Silva’s manager, Ed Soares, squashed all speculation about the 34-year old middleweight champion retiring anytime soon. In fact, Soares told MMAWeekly Radio earlier this week, once Anderson defends his title against Vitor Belfort in April, he wants the biggest fights possible regardless of the weight division.
“I think the important thing is to really create the biggest fights possible,” Soares said. “I think Anderson’s got a good two, three years probably. He’s got a good eight or nine fights probably left in him for sure, maybe more. He doesn’t take too much damage, and the fact that he doesn’t take damage in the fights, it’s really more or less the training.”
Soares, the manager and spokesman for many prominent Brazilian fighters in the UFC, reassured the MMA world that, not only does his fighter have plenty of fights left, but that the UFC is where they will take place due to their deep talent pool. Anderson Silva has two fights left on his current contract and will likely get an extension before the year is out.
“The fans are going to dictate who they want to see,” said Soares. “Of course the UFC makes those decisions, but with the talent pool the UFC has, there’s not going to be a lack of big fights for Anderson or for any of our fighters.”
Silva, one of the most dominant strikers the sport has ever seen, is not restricted to the 185lbs division. His first venture into light-heavyweight waters was against James “The Sandman” Irvin, whom he knocked out in the first round at UFC Fight Night 14 in 2008. The next 205lbs victim, that helped underline Anderson’s versatility, was Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 last summer. Griffin also went timbering down before the first five minutes of the fight expired.
Soares even hinted towards “The Spider” fighting at heavyweight if the right match was offered. Could this be a prelude to a future fight with fellow megastar Brock Lesnar? Regardless of weight, Anderson’s manager stressed the fact that his fighter wants his last fights to be as exciting and challenging as possible.
“I believe the last fights of his career will definitely be big fights. That’s what he wants, to have the big fights, regardless of what the weight is,” Soares commented. “Whether it’s at light heavyweight, whether it’s at heavyweight, whether it’s at a catchweight, doesn’t make a different. He just wants to challenge himself and be involved in some of the biggest fights that the UFC can put together.”
Before entering that phase of his career, Silva will have to lock horns and defeat his title against a rejuvenated Vitor Belfort at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, the first event held outdoors for the company.