NEW YORK – A much-reported deal to extend Anderson Silva‘s time in the UFC is done, according to Dana White.
While the UFC president hedged slightly by saying “as far as I know,” he said Silva’s new contract is for 10 fights. He didn’t say whether the deal had an expiration date.
“I haven’t talked to Anderson in about a month, but as far as I know, it’s done,” White said during a fan Q&A sponsored by the UFC’s official wireless partner, MetroPCS.
Silva’s longtime manager, Ed Soares, declined comment to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).
This past December, White said Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) signed the long-term deal. One month later, Soares said the deal had yet to be inked.
“The Spider” had two fights remaining on his prior deal when contract talks began. His next fight is set against the undefeated Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) at UFC 162, which takes place July 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
If successful, Silva will have defended his middleweight title 11 times. He already holds the record for most defenses at 10 and is unbeaten in the UFC with 16 consecutive wins.
Still, Silva’s age (37) and record-setting UFC run have prompted many fans and observers to wonder how much longer he’ll continue to compete in the octagon. While his contract would tie him to the UFC, he could retire before fulfilling his obligations.
A new deal would provide greater financial incentive to press on, especially if superfights materialize with welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre or light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones. White has said he’d like to see both, though St-Pierre recently went on UFC commentator Joe Rogan’s podcast to say he’d have an easier time fighting at 155 pounds than moving up in weight to challenge the heavier Silva.
Weight wouldn’t be a problem for light heavyweight Jones, who meets two-time middleweight title challenger Chael Sonnen at this Saturday’s UFC 159.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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