Yesterday former UFC champ Anderson Silva declared that any notions of him coming back in 2014 were unfounded. “This year is over for me,” were his words. This statement came despite the constant barrage of Instagram pics and clips of him walking around then kicking a ball with his suspect leg and finally of him chopping down palm trees with his shins. To put Silva’s announcement in perspective, let me put it this way: A man who suffered a horrifying leg break in the Octagon on December 28 – an injury sustained in a fight where he was getting his ass kicked – is going to take a normal amount of time to heal and recover before going back into the crucible of combat where he was hurt.
Let me be the first to say that taking that “extra” time off is totally fine. And anyone who disagrees – who wants the Brazilian to return ASAP so he can get back in there with Chris Weidman or anyone else – is a selfish bastard.
Silva owes us nothing. In fact, the only thing he owes to anyone is happiness and health, and that’s something he owes to himself.
Prior to meeting Weidman in the Octagon at UFC 162, Silva was riding an insane 16-fight win streak. He was also one of the most feared fighters in the UFC, which came in no small part to his sudden and spectacular finishes over top challengers. But his time was up, and after all the years of being the apex predator, someone better finally came along (and beat him twice).
There’s no shame in that. There’s no shame in growing old and succumbing to the young buck who’s destined to be the new sheriff in town. In those instances, the ex-champ has every right to ride off on a slow horse into the sunset.
Of course, all talk about what Silva owes us and what he owes himself is only one side of the coin. If he were to come back too soon and re-injure himself, that would only reflect poorly on the sport (and the fans) for wanting him to come back too soon – not to mention what it could mean for his long-term health.
The truth is, there was no reason for Silva to come back in 2014. Taking off until next year will do nothing to diminish how beloved he is to us, and the man has zero to prove to anyone. I say let him rest for as long as possible. It will only make his return that much sweeter.