The Spider a UFC Fighter No More: Anderson Silva Released, Bellator’s Coker Reacts

Anderson Silva UFC
Anderson Silva speaks to the press March 30, 2016 in advance of UFC 198. // A.RICARDO /

Anderson Silva is no longer an active fighter on the UFC’s roster. Not because he’s retired, but because the promotion has officially released the middleweight legend.

Silva (34-11, 1NC) last competed on Halloween, losing via TKO to Uriah Hall in the main event at UFC Vegas 12. Once one of the most feared fighters in the promotion, “The Spider” officially has just one win since 2012. The Hall fight appeared to mark the end of Silva’s career, but the Brazilian has flip-flopped on the retirement issue several times.

If he does compete again, it won’t be in the UFC. Per a report by MMA Fighting on Thursday, the promotion opted to terminate Silva’s contract. UFC President Dana White later confirmed the news to tabloid TMZ, after originally denying the report.

Silva’s lone win in the past eight years came against Derek Brunson at UFC 208. A fight against Nick Diaz in 2015 was initially deemed a unanimous decision win for Silva, but was overturned to a No Contest after the fighter failed a drug test for multiple banned substances.

Although competitive in fights against Michael Bisping and current middleweight king Israel Adesanya, it’s clear the 45-year old has lost a step.

On Thursday night, Bellator CEO Scott Coker reacted to the news during the Bellator 253 post-fight press conference. Asked about his interest in Silva’s services, Coker was diplomatic. “At the end of the day, I have a lot of respect for him, he’s one of my favorite fighters of all time, he’s I think one of the greatest fighters in the history of this sport, and I give my hat’s off to him,” Coker responded. “And he might continue to fight and continue to compete,” the promoter continued, “but I really love our roster, I love the things we’re doing here, I love the direction of the company, and that’s what we’re going to stay focused on.”

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