There is a time when all great champions should call it a day, many don’t and some harm their legacy or more worryingly their health. Anderson Silva has certainly damaged his reputation by fighting on well past his prime.
Now 42, and with an MMA record of 34-8 with one no contest, Silva should be long retired. But like many before him, he refuses and carries on when his day in the sun has long since passed. The long-reigning UFC middleweight champion lost his title to Chris Weidman in 2013 and has only won one fight since, a highly dubious decision win over Derek Brunson. Most pundits thought he was well beaten, myself included.
Silva, of course, tried in a rematch with Weidman but lost in brutal fashion when he suffered that horrible leg break if there was ever a time to leave the sport it was then. If Silva would have retired then, we would I feel have a totally different opinion of his career.
A comeback win over Nick Diaz was overturned to a no contest when he failed a drugs test, and now he is looking at another potential ban for a possible USADA violation.
So now by carrying on, his legacy has been harmed by the failed drug tests, and in the process putting a big question mark over his entire career. Silva has released a statement saying its not over yet, it should be.