The possibility that the retirement of UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is imminent has a lot of mixed martial arts fans talking, and today Silva's manager, Ed Soares, talked a little about it as well.
"Even before Anderson came into the UFC, his goal has always been to retire by the age of 35," Soares said on a call to promote Silva's fight with Patrick Cote at UFC 90. "He's talking about that much sooner than any of us would like, but his goal is to retire when he's 35."
Soares also confirmed that after taking on Cote next weekend, Silva will have five more fights remaining on his current deal. But he left open the possibility that Silva (who turns 35 on April 14, 2010) might want to fight a few more times beyond age 35.
"I believe when he gets to 35 he's going to see how he feels at that time," Soares said. "At that point in time, if you feel like you've got a few more fights in you, let's do a few more fights."
Soares said that Silva has no complaints at all about his current UFC contract, and that he isn't talking about retiring as some type of negotiating ploy: "Not at all, it's just that his goal is to retire when he's 35," Soares said.
As for whether Silva's remaining five fights after Cote will be at middleweight or light heavyweight, Soares said, "What Anderson wants to do is he wants to be involved in the biggest fights, fight the best in the world and put on the fights that the world wants to see."
To me, that means fighting at light heavyweight: There just aren't that many good fights for Silva at 185 pounds, while the UFC could easily give him five good opponents at 205 pounds over the next two years. And Soares made clear that Silva is comfortable fighting at either 185 or 205.
"Anderson, even though he walks around at 220 pounds, he sheds the weight pretty well, cuts weight pretty easily," Soares said. "It's just a little bit with his diet, cutting the carbs. He won't have any problem making weight at all."
Soares confirmed that Silva would love to take on Roy Jones in a boxing match, but he didn't sound like Silva is really giving that a whole lot of thought.
"That's always been a dream of his, to box, but right now he's a mixed martial artist," Soares said. "Right now he's focused on Patrick Cote, defending his title, and we're not looking past that. ... He's not taking Patrick Cote lightly. He's training super, super hard for this fight."