UFC

Anderson Silva should never fight again – White

By Sports Desk November 01, 2020

Anderson Silva refused to call time on his MMA career after losing to Uriah Hall on Saturday, but Dana White has little interest in letting him fight in the UFC again.

Silva is widely acknowledged as one of the sport's greatest ever competitors but was handed his 11th professional defeat – and third in succession – by Hall.

The 45-year-old was stopped by TKO at one minute and 24 seconds in the fourth round of the main event of UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Silva had to sit down for his post-fight interview, which did not impress UFC president White, who claimed he made a mistake by letting the Brazilian take to the Octagon.

"Look at Anderson. He couldn't even stand up to do his interview," White said. "He had to sit down to do his interview, and I made a big mistake.

"I shouldn't have let him fight this fight tonight.

"Out of respect to him – he's a legend of the sport and he's a legend of this company – I did something that I disagreed with.

"I knew I was right and tonight proved I was right, and Anderson Silva should never fight again."

Silva said in his interview this was his "last show for my fans in UFC" but would not commit to never fighting again.

"I don't know," he said. "First, I go back home and go see with my team and everything. Let's see.

"Because it's tough to say it's my last or not. This is my air. This is what I do for my entire life and with my heart. Let's go see."

Silva has a 34-11 record with one no contest.

He won the UFC middleweight championship by beating Rich Franklin in 2006 and successfully defended his title 10 times before losing to Chris Weidman in 2013, failing to recover his belt in a subsequent defeat to the same man.

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    Nurmagomedov called time on his career after defeating Justin Gaethje at UFC 254 in October but is in Abu Dhabi to attend the lightweight fight between McGregor and Dustin Poirier on Saturday.

    Dana White met with the Russian, who he said was looking for "something spectacular" if he was to go back on his decision to hang up his gloves.

    However, Nurmagomedov subsequently said fighting was not in his plans as he did not want to disappoint his mother, to whom he promised Gaethje would be his last opponent due to the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap.

    Asked about those remarks at a news conference to preview UFC 257, White responded: "I've told you guys. We'll see what happens this week."

    McGregor, who was submitted by Nurmagomedov at UFC 229 in a fight that was overshadowed by a post-bout melee outside the Octagon, added "we'll get him", before claiming that the lightweight title will soon be up for grabs.

    "I'd make the case if that man [Nurmagomedov] is continuing to dodge this and dodge the commitment of competing again, the title should be stripped and we should be engaging in a title fight," said McGregor.

    "I'm sure it'll happen after this bout. I'm interested to hear what the excuses are … but I predict a title strip.

    "As long as we fight again there'll be no issue [between us], that's it. If he continues to run, I'm not sure. We'll see what happens.

    "The world knows this fight is not over, this war is not over. The sport needs it to happen. I'm not gonna chase it if he doesn't want it and I'll keep my calm and move on."

    The fight with Poirier will be just McGregor's third at lightweight, having returned from a second retirement at welterweight when he took on Donald Cerrone in January last year.

    The former featherweight and lightweight champion claimed to have retired again, finding it difficult to fulfil his three-fight plan for 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but he is now anticipating a long run at 155 pounds.

    "I have not had that many fights at 155 in the UFC and I'm eager to put in a stint, to get a run going like I did with the featherweights," said McGregor.

    "I think I went seven or eight fights within a year and a half. That's what I'm looking for here if they can match me up. This is the best I've ever been for sure, and I'm at 155 pounds. But if I go back to 170 you best believe that'll be the best I've ever felt also."

    Poirier's camp suggested McGregor's weakness is his conditioning, but the Irishman does not agree with that assessment.

    "I think it's a myth. Obviously the first [Nate] Diaz fight I went from featherweight and a month or so later I was at welterweight, that's obviously gonna have an impact and then there were other issues," he said.

    "Overall, I think it's a myth. It's a myth that's out there and I hope we can answer it. I will answer it in time at some stage. I keep showing up here, someone's gonna be able to stay in there and fight with me. I hope it's this Saturday night. Do I think so? I do not. I'm in some shape here and I'm coming to put on a masterpiece."

    McGregor added: "I have a million shots. I have so many weapons in my arsenal and they're all fine-tuned at this time. I'm in a phenomenal place and I look forward to going out and showcasing, painting a beautiful picture."

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    The undefeated Khabib announced his retirement after beating Justin Gaethje to unify the lightweight division at UFC 254 last year, his first outing since the death of his father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov.

    However, White raised the prospect that the Russian may return for one more bout - if he likes what he sees out of a potential opponent next week. 

    That includes former foes Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier, who meet in the main event on Fight Island. Dan Hooker and Michael Chandler do battle on the same bill, with the winner potentially coming under consideration. 

    Charles Oliveira is also an option, having apparently grabbed Khabib's attention during his victory over Tony Ferguson at UFC 256 in December. 

    "The thing with him is, when you make the decision to retire, I knew he made the decision under unbelievable emotional stress," White told the media after Max Holloway's victory over Calvin Kattar in Abu Dhabi. 

    "His dad had died, he got hurt during that camp and couldn't train right, couldn't cut weight right. All the things he went through and then he went out and performed how he performed, then made that decision that night.  

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    However, White made clear that Georges St-Pierre is not on the shortlist of potential opponents. 

    "No, GSP never came up. He's not interested in that fight and, from what I hear today, neither is GSP. That's over," he said.

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    Khabib stunningly announced his retirement from the octagon after beating Justin Gaethje to defend the lightweight title at UFC 254 in October as he improved to 29-0, though the 32-year-old remains the champion.

    White has retained hope of Khabib returning to the UFC, previously talking up the Russian trying to reach a flawless 30-0 record.

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    White added: "As a promoter, you always want to see the best guys in the world, but at the same time, when a guy wants to retire, he probably should.

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