Anderson Silva On His Age: "Im No Longer The Same, Everything Hurts"Anderson Silva has been the UFC middleweight champion since October 2006, when he knocked out Rich Franklin at UFC 64. At that time, the champ was 32 years old. Since then, Silva has gone on an unprecedented six year tear through the UFC ranks, extending his winning streak to 15 straight, and defending his middleweight title a record nine times. In the last six years he has defeated every top middleweight in the world, including finishes of Rich Franklin (twice), Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Yushin Okami, and Nate Marquardt, just to name a few. He also moved up a weight class and knocked out top light heavyweight Forrest Griffin in the first round. With no signs of slowing down, people wonder when Silva's reign of dominance will end.
It might be sooner than you think.
When Silva returns to the Octagon to rematch Chael Sonnen this June, he will be 37 years old. After years of fighting the best in the world that even predates his time in the UFC, Silva may be slowing down. And despite it not showing in the cage, according to the champ, its showing behind the scenes.
When asked about his age in a recent interview with Brazilian News outlet UOL Esportes, Silva stated, "I'm no longer the same, everything hurts and it takes much longer for me to recover (from injuries)."
Silva has been sidelined since defeating Yushin Okami last August due to a nagging shoulder injury. When he fights Sonnen in June it will have been ten months since his last bout, his longest layoff between fights since 2000.
When discussing potential future opponents, Silva had this to say about current light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
"I don't plan on moving up in weight anymore. He's in a different weight (class). I train with bigger guys, such as Lyoto Machida and Big Nog and I know how complicated it is. ...Every time I see Jones I tell him to keep focus, because if he does that, there's no opponent for him. He's better than everyone. He'd have a lot of advantages (over me), he's much younger and it wouldn't be something interesting (for me)."
His reluctance to move up in weight may be a sign that the end is sooner than later for Silva. I for one don't see a point in a Silva-Jones fight, as Jones still has several opponents at light heavyweight, and by the time he cleared out that division Silva would most likely be 38 years old, if not older.
However he isn't ruling out a fight with the welterweight champion, Georges St-Pierre, stating "GSP is very educated and I like him a lot. A fight against him would be very, very, very big and this could actually happen."
Should he end his career within the next few fights, Silva will probably go down as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. No one has been able to consistently finish top level fighters over such a long period of time the way Silva has.
Published by Jeff Zanatta - Thu, 16 Feb 2012 20:54