MMA legend Anderson Silva was notorious for crawling into the cage during his height as a UFC middleweight champion, which lasted a record 2,457 days from 2006 to 2013.
However, since 2013, Silva tallied an MMA record of 1-7, 1 No Contest and was released from his UFC contract last November after limping out of the cage with yet another loss.
Like several MMA stars in recent years, Silva looked to stick a new landing in the sweet science, and did so successfully with a split decision win over Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. in June.
The boxing match was the third of Silva’s career -- he suffered a loss in his 1998 pro debut, and scored a win in 2005.
After a strong showing against Chavez Jr., Silva will again return to the ring to face Tito Ortiz on Saturday at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. to provide chief support for the Evander Holyfield vs. Vitor Belfort Triller pay per view.
The 46-year-old Silva said he plans on fighting till he’s just shy of being a quinquagenarian.
"My goal is my last fight is 49 [years old]. 49, I'm done. Probably, I'm done. That is my goal. Fight 3 more years and done. 49. That's the number. Maybe I can fight more, but right now my goal is when I turn 49, I stop fighting,” Silva told TMZ. “But I don't know. I'm in good shape. I'm so happy to go to the gym every day. I'm such a lucky guy because God gave me the opportunity for me to continue doing my job.”
Silva (34-11 MMA; 23 KOs) said he could have had a strong career in boxing as well should he have decided to go that route before making his MMA debut in 1997.
“I think I would have made great success too in boxing,” said Silva.
Before he calls it a career, the Brazilian is also eyeing a potential bout with fellow boxing novice in brothers Jake and Logan Paul.
"Everything is possible. Jake Paul and Logan are doing a lot of good work in this new entertaining show. We'll see. Everything is possible. I respect both. [Jake] is doing good, working hard. So, we'll see, maybe this is possible too,” said Silva.
Manouk Akopyan is a sports journalist, writer and broadcast reporter. He’s also a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America and MMA Journalists Association. He can be reached on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube at @ManoukAkopyan, via email at manouk[dot]akopyan[at]gmail.com or on www.ManoukAkopyan.com