anderson-silva-44.jpg(This story appears in today’s edition of USA TODAY.)

The UFC sent out an e-mail Monday with quotes from 18 of its most well-known fighters, all of whom mostly agreed on two things: Middleweight champion Anderson Silva is probably the best fighter in MMA history, and he’s about to get beat up by a guy from Long Island with nine pro fights to his credit.

For nearly seven years, Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) has enjoyed an uninterrupted reign atop the UFC’s middleweight division. He also has made occasional forays up to the light heavyweight class, where he embarrassed one former champion and toyed with other opponents like a house cat dissecting a dragonfly.

But Silva is 38. When he takes on challenger Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday at UFC 162 (pay-per- view, 10 p.m. ET), he’ll be gunning for his 17th consecutive UFC win and 11th successful title defense in a row. Both would be UFC records. Even if he lost and retired, he’d still be regarded as the best middleweight of all time, maybe the best pound-for- pound fighter in the sport.

Silva, of course, has no intention of losing or retiring. He recently signed a 10-fight deal with the UFC that, at his current pace, would take him well past his 40th birthday. He intends to fight every one of those bouts, he said this week, though he insists it isn’t money or a hunger for glory that’s driving him.

“What motivates me is to be able to do what I love to do, which is to fight,” Silva told USA TODAY Sports through an interpreter. “I love to fight. I love the preparation. I love to learn new things, always overcoming myself. I love being in the gym and everything involved in it.”

The longer he sticks around, however, the more the feeling grows that even Silva’s greatness must have an expiration date. UFC President Dana White has likened the champ to a temperamental artist who is at times difficult to negotiate with, but not necessarily in a bad way.

If Silva keeps winning long enough to fulfill his ambitious 10-fight deal, White told news reporters this week, “Nobody better ever deny this guy’s the greatest of all time.”

And yet, that’s something Silva won’t admit to thinking about himself. At least, not yet.

“He’s never said to me that he thinks he’s the greatest,” said Silva’s longtime manager, Ed Soares. “What he’s said is, ‘Ed, I think I can do things that other people think are impossible.’”

Maintaining his dominance into his 40s would be a seemingly impossible feat, especially as younger fighters such as Weidman look for ways to upset him.

The theory is that Weidman’s takedowns and ferocious finishing power will present a difficult matchup for Silva. Pundits and fellow fighters point to similarly equipped wrestlers who gave Silva trouble in the past, yet they conveniently leave out the fact that he found a way to beat them in the end.

The forecasts of his impending demise seem to amuse Silva, who approaches each title defense with detachment.

“In my house, there is a guessing tree,” Silva said of his peers’ predictions. “But it never guesses anything right.”

Still, the history of prizefighting shows that every great champion gets done in by age eventually. Silva’s vow to keep fighting suggests he’s intent on discovering his limits in the cage, regardless of the cost.

“I really believe he’ll know when to hang it up,” Soares said. “But right now, he seems to be getting better and better.”

He’s also getting wealthier and more famous with each victory, both of which are more important to Silva than he will admit, White says.

“He does care about his legacy,” White said. “And none of them like to say it in public, (but) he cares about making money, too.”

If Silva doesn’t see himself as the greatest already, it’s hard to imagine what more it would take. A victory against largely untested Weidman? A win in a superfight with fellow champions Jon Jones or Georges St- Pierre? Silva can’t — or maybe just won’t—say.

“It’s not one specific thing,” he said. “It’s not that there’s something missing. It’s just a question of being able to say that once I’m finished.

“Maybe one day when I’m retired, I can turn around and tell you, ‘Hey, I was really good at that. Maybe I was the best.’”

For the latest on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Anderson Silva suspended one year, fined $380K, chastised for 'soft testimony'

  • 21 days ago
  • 10 views

The NSAC today voted unanimously to issue a 12-month suspension to former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva for multiple banned substances found in his system before and after a unanimous-deci read news >>

A view from today's train wreck of a commission hearing with Anderson Silva

  • 21 days ago
  • 34 views

Anthony Marnell of the Nevada State Athletic Commission about summed up the mood when he brought his head to rest on a table in mock exasperation before ex-middleweight champ Anderson Silva.Filed und read news >>

Watch The MMA Beat live today

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

On this week's episode of "The MMA Beat," the panel will discuss Anderson Silva's punishment, the heavyweight title picture, McGregor vs. Aldo and much more. Watch "The MMA Beat" live today at 1 p.m. read news >>

Tim Kennedy slams 'pathetic' UFC-Reebok payouts, willing to donate blood for Anderson Silva in Dallas

  • 24 days ago
  • 378 views

Damn hackers are at it again. Tim Kennedy (18-5) is not walking through that Octagon door. At least for now, as the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender is having a blas read news >>

Invicta 14: 'Evinger vs. Kianzad' official for Sept. 14 in Kansas City

  • 24 days ago
  • 50 views

Invicta Fighting Championships (Invicta FC) today (Mon., Aug. 10, 2015) announced the full, 10-fight card for Invicta FC 14, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass from inside Municipal Auditorium in K read news >>

Video: Watch MMA Hour live stream HERE feat. Rory MacDonald, Tyron Woodley, Diego Sanchez, and more!

  • 24 days ago
  • 42 views

Today's (Mon., Aug. 10, 2015) guests include Rory MacDonald, Tyron Woodley, Diego Sanchez, Tim Kennedy, Mike Brown, Amir Khan, Luke Barnatt, George Lockhart, and Dave Meltzer, beginning at 1 p.m. ET read news >>

UFC Fight Night 73 live and official weigh-in results

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

NASHVILLE – UFC Fight Night 73 fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can join us for live text results beginning at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

Watch today's UFC Fight Night 73 weigh-ins live on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

NASHVILLE – UFC Fight Night 73 fighter weigh-ins take place today, and you can catch a live stream of the proceedings here on MMAjunkie at 5 p.m. ET (2 p.m. PT).Filed under: News, UFC, Videos read news >>

Anderson Silva confident testing inconsistencies will help clear name

  • 28 days ago
  • 16 views

Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva believes that testing irregularities will help clear his name. After months of inexplicable delays, Anderson Silva will finally determine whether he wi read news >>

Teamsters announce plan to organize UFC fighters

  • 28 days ago
  • 6 views

Two national unions, UNITE and Teamsters, announced today they are going to try and organize the fighters of the UFC. UNITE HERE has announced an initiative alongside the Teamsters to try and organiz read news >>