Morning Report: Anderson Silva Expects to Fight to Age 43; UK Promotion Plans Wheelchair MMA Fights

Mark J. Rebilas, US PRESSWIRE

At the ripe age of 37 years old, it would seem the end is nigh for UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. "The Spider" has reigned supreme over his UFC contemporaries for seven long years, starting with the fateful night he rearranged Rich Franklin's face and ushered in a new, spectacularly violent era of dominance.

But even Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan have to call it quits sooner or later, and Silva seems to have acknowledged as such in recent years. His manager, Ed Soares, has spoken at length about Silva's impending retirement plans, at times actually using them as a justification for the champ's desire to only defend his title in big money fights.

Only now, it seems like Silva's recent legacy-sealing win over Chael Sonnen has changed the conversation. Just as many were surprised to learn of Silva's eleventh-hour offer to save UFC 151, many may be even more stunned to hear that Silva now considers his UFC reign to barely be halfway done.

"I guess you can see more like six years of fighting," Silva revealed to Brazilian newspaper Estadao. "I love what I do. The team that works with me does a fantastic job. I've never had a serious injury that took myself away from competition. So I think I have this a little while longer."

Six years is a stark departure from the forecasts we've heard in the past, but after watching over a half-a-decade of moments like this, and this, and this, it seems foolish to even cast doubt Silva's direction.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Silva talks future. Speaking with Brazilian newspaper Estadao, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva said he plans to continue fighting for at least six more years.

Wheelchair MMA fights. UK promotion Ultimate Cage Fighting Championships has aligned with the Wheeled Warriors group to stage wheelchair MMA fights, which to my knowledge is the first event of its kind. The show will feature amputees and fighters in wheelchairs, and will take place in late-2012 in South Yorkshire.

The MMA hour. Ariel Helwani and The MMA Hour are back in your life with a star-studded show featuring Ronda Rousey, Rashad Evans, Roy Nelson, Mike Chiesa, Matt Schnell and Mark Henry.

King Mo targeting Bellator, TNA debut. Former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal is slated to make his TNA Wrestling debut next month and will join the Bellator ranks in early 2013, according to Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.

Spong debuting against McSweeney. Dutch kickboxing luminary Tyrone Spong will make his MMA debut against TUF alumnus James McSweeney on November 3rd at the World Series of Fighting's inaugural event. Spong is 68-6-1 (1 NC) in 76 kickboxing contests, with 42 wins by knockout.

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MEDIA STEW

The Inside MMA crew asked viewers to submit three impressive finishes from their local MMA shows, and boy, did the viewers deliver.

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Just another case of a one-legged fighter easily submitting a two-legged fighter. Nothing to see here, folks.

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Ryan Loco shadowed BJJ superstar Braulio Estima prior to his MMA debut last month to create this fantastic mini-documentary. Don't worry, you don't need to get any work done this morning.

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Tony Norton and Pat Boerner were so impressed by Renzo Gracie's late-night fracas, they wrote a song about it.

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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Feast your eyes on a 20-year-old young lion mercy killing a member of the old guard. Vitor probably hopes next Saturday doesn't follow the same script.

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MATT HUGHES: RETIRED?

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KURT ANGLE OUT OF THE BOOTH, RENZO GRACIE IN

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SERIOUSLY GUYS, NO MORE MOTORCYCLES

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THE WAY TO THE BOSS' HEART

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Monday, September 10, 2012):

- World Series of Fighting: Tyrone Spong (0-0) vs. James McSweeney (10-9)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees George Halvatzis Jr. analyze the big picture: Increase In Testosterone Marketing Push Creates Skepticism Of Its Benefits, And How This Looks For MMA

Mixed martial arts (MMA) has had its fair share of controversies, but few have become polarizing topics to the extent of testosterone replacement therapy. TRT, as it is more commonly referred to, has become more and more prevalent with fighters in the last couple of years. Skepticism has risen, with fighters and fans alike raising their voices about their stance against its use within the sport.

Recently, we've been surprised with reports of fighters like Forrest Griffin and Frank Mir having received therapeutic use exemptions (TUEs) heading into their most recent fights. Other long time fighters, such as Dan Henderson, have been on TRT for their last few fights. Even Todd Duffee, only 26 years of age, has received a TUE.

So what can we base this sudden growth of TRT in MMA on? Is it a true medical advancement, a loophole for cheating, or an ineffective treatment receiving a marketing push? A recent article coming from NBC News seems to suggest the latter:

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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