Former UFC middleweight contender turned [ex] Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi believes Anderson Silva will be remembered as one of the greatest fighters of all time despite continuing to fight way past his prime.
Silva, 45, will be remembered for his dazzling performances in the octagon — think UFC 101, UFC 126, and UFC 64, just to name a few — rather than the losses he accumulated during his twilight years, says Mousasi, who believes Silva is immortalized in the MMA history books.
“He had a great career. I think in his prime he looked unbeatable,” Mousasi said about Silva during the Bellator 250 media day (h/t Damon Martin of MMA Fighting). “He provided a lot of memorable fights. He’s definitely a legend of the sport.
“Maybe continued a little bit longer than he should have, tarnished his legacy just at the end. But in his prime, and that’s what people are going to remember him as. Definitely one of the greatest.”
Silva, of course, will be retiring win or lose following his headlining bout with Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night 181 this Saturday and, as much as Mousasi admires ‘The Spider’, ‘The Dreamcatcher’ plans to retire much sooner than the former.
“At this moment, I feel great,” Mousasi said ahead of his headlining middleweight title bout with Douglas Lima on Thursday. “To be honest in training, I was better than ever. I’m stronger physically, mentally also. At this moment and the results come, if I keep win-lose, win-lose, that’s a sign that you’re not what you think you are. But I think I’ve lost one in the last 10 fights, 11 fights, I don’t know. I bounce back.
“After this year, two more years that’s going to be certain and then after that I have to look at the body. Look at the results and then we’re going to decide if we’re going to continue maybe another year but I’m not going to continue to 40. That’s one thing for sure.”
UFC Fight Night: Hall vs. Silva takes place this Saturday, Oct. 31 at the UFC APEX Center in Las Vegas while Bellator 250 is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.