Anderson Silva Almost Retired and Left MMA Before Ever Fighting in the UFC

McKinley Noble@KenTheGreat1Correspondent IMay 15, 2013

Jul. 7, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC fighter Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Chael Sonnen during a middleweight bout in UFC 148 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Although it seems impossible to imagine, Anderson Silva almost walked away from MMA years before becoming the most dominant champion in UFC history.

Thankfully for the sport, the Nogueira brothers talked him out of leaving.

During a Fuel TV interview with MMA Heat's Karyn Bryant, Silva talked about wanting to end his fighting days after the conclusion of his five-bout run in PRIDE, which ended in two submission defeats to Daiju Takase and Ryo Chonan.

As "The Spider" told Fuel TV, his dream was "lost" after competing on the international circuit, where he had "nothing" to show for his efforts:

One day, I talked to Rogerio and Rodrigo—"I no more fight, bro." The time Rogerio and Rodrigo talked to me, I [had] nothing. My dream [was] lost. Rodrigo talked to me [and said], "Hey, come to my house. I'll help you. No worry. Come here, train together."

I finished my contract in PRIDE. I broke the team [up]. The guys talked to me [and said], "Hey, you no fight more in PRIDE." What? I fight in PRIDE. Good fights. I have no problem in PRIDE. But Rodrigo helped me, for better fights.

Perhaps if it wasn't for the Nogueria brothers, whom Silva says he loves like his own family, the entire landscape of the sport would've been different.

But Silva would eventually return to MMA, with his last fight in PRIDE turning out to be his legitimate loss in the sport (so far).

After a 3-1 campaign between regional promotions Cage Rage and Rumble on the Rock—marred only by a DQ loss to Yushin Okami—Silva found his way to the UFC middleweight division, dominating Chris Leben and starting his road to the title that he's held ever since.

Fuel TV is currently running Silva's interview with Byrant in short segments via YouTube, where you can see the pound-for-pound titan talk about being "the black Dana White" and why he doesn't like to fight Brazilians in the Octagon.


McKinley Noble is an MMA conspiracy theorist. His work has appeared in NVisionPC World, Macworld, GamePro, 1UP, MMA Mania and The L.A. Times.