Despite a title fight just around the corner, all of the attention on UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva lately has centered around his recent talk of retirement from the sport he is currently dominating and considered best in the world at.
The champion first talked about his desire to retire a few weeks back and his manager, Ed Soares, addressed the situation recently to set the record straight.
"Even before Anderson came into the UFC his goal has always been to retire at the age of 35," Soares stated. "He's actually talking about it much sooner than all of us would have liked, but the reality of it is that his goal it to retire at 35. He's got 18 months before he turns 35 and it doesn't necessarily mean he's going to retire right when he turns 35, that it would just be his goal."
Regardless of the set goal, Soares reassured everyone that Silva will indeed fulfill his current UFC contract, which spans his next six fights, but understands how his talk of retirement comes across to the general public.
"He's still got six fights left on his contract, the first of the six being against Patrick Cote, so I think that he's just talking about it, but at the end of the day I know for sure he's going to be fighting six fights in the UFC," said Soares. "He's talking about it, but I don't think he's very perceptive on how this is coming across to the media."
Soares is quick to point out that Silva isn't bored or tired of fighting, but just sticking to a goal he's had in mind long before his championship run in the UFC.
"He loves fighting, it's just that his goal has been to retire at 35," he said. "He's always had that goal set."
In his time with the UFC, Silva has become known as one of, if not the best fighter on the planet, and his exit could only be seen as a major loss to the promotion. Soares still remains hopeful that something could change, but is confident in at least the current deal Silva signed being fulfilled.
"What I believe is going to happen is when he gets to 35 he's going to see how he feels at that point in time. I told him, let's achieve your goal of getting to 35 and being in a position where you could retire and at that point in time you make your choices. If you feel like you've got a few more fights in you then lets go a few more fights," Soares commented.
"But I can guarantee you you're going to see Anderson Silva for at least six more fights."
UFC president Dana White addressed Silva's retirement talk with fans at UFC 89 in England on Friday as well.
"You never know what a fighter's thinking or what he wants to do," White commented. "One of the funny things is everybody's always talking about how much we pay our fighters, 'oh they don't pay your fighters enough.' Anderson Silva's the best fighter in the world, he's a young guy, and he's talking about retiring.
"You know why? Because he's (expletive) rich, that's why. If I was Anderson Silva, I'd retire too."