It has been less than twenty four hours since the smoke cleared on UFC 168. By now almost everyone knows the gruesome injury suffered by Anderson Silva during his main event bout with Chris Weidman. I have read articles upon articles about how Anderson Silva's career is over, one even called it 'The end of an era'. Although I will agree that with an injury of this magnitude would put most people away, Anderson Silva is not most people.
I am not now, nor have I ever been a fan of 'The Spider'. I have pulled against the odd's for Silva to loose the title since he beat Rich Franklin for it, and last night was no different. I wanted Chris Weidman to embarrass Anderson Silva, humble him and send him down the rankings. Instead Wiedman held onto the UFC Middleweight gold, but in such a strange way as no put a defining end to this rivalry, and now we are discussing the possibility of the end of the legendary career of Anderson Silva.
Due to the horrible injury that Anderson Silva sustained last night most people seem to agree that Anderson Silva's career is over. Let's argue that point. With the injury aside we are talking about a thirty eight year old fighter whom some people were questioning the longevity of long before he lost the title to begin with. He has done everything a man can do in the cage, including a record number of title defenses. He really has nothing to prove and no reason to need to compete in the octagon anymore other than making money.
Before we write Anderson off and watch him fade into the sunset, consider this, the timeline for the injury to heal is three to six months. Anderson is a professional athlete any can handle doing what needs to be done to get his leg rehabbed up. He has two back to back losses that many believe on paper Anderson should arguably won, and I am sure he would love to avenge those loses. Until July 6th, 2013 Anderson Silva was ranked number one as the world's best pound for pound fighter. A couple months ago people were having trouble coming up with names of Middleweights that would make a compelling fight because Anderson Silva had beaten the who's who of UFC Middleweights, and even other big names the UFC had acquired from other companies.
Fast forward to today, Anderson has lost his title, then lost the rematch. He is currently rehabbing a surgically repaired broken shin. I will concede that we will not see Anderson Silva in the octagon for a long time, but do I think his career is over? In a word, no. Now I truly believe that the proud fighter inside Anderson Siva will want to make a comeback. I really think that in time we will see Anderson Silva in the UFC again. I do not think that Anderson Silva will regain the ranking of the world's best pound for pound fighter and probably not the UFC Middleweight crown. We probably wont see the blockbuster match against Georges St. Pierre that so many fans have lusted for for years. I do believe however that Anderson Silva will want to go out on top and in his own terms.
Anderson has faced injury and trials in his career before, just maybe not as much as he is currently facing. Anderson Silva knows better than most anybody in the world how to focus and work toward a goal. The only person that knows if Anderson Silva will return to the octagon is Anderson Silva. If he has the fire to make a comeback, then in time, he will. He is a world class, athelete, mixed martial artist, and Champion. If Anderson Silva wants to come back and retake his spot then he will. Only time will tell.
Until then Anderson Silva the on behalf of myself, and MMA fans all over the world, our thoughts and prayers are with you get well soon.
-Luke Mooody, Throwing Leather MMA Blog