No one seems overly interested in doing business with former longtime UFC champion Anderson Silva.

We all know what Silva (34-11 MMA, 17-7 UFC) means to this sport and the legacy he has crafted. It seemed he was going to have a somewhat graceful exit, with the UFC booking him in a main event fight against Uriah Hall in October in what was openly marketed as Silva’s final trip to the octagon.

At 45, Silva has already competed later into life than most in MMA. With one win in his past nine fights, his fourth-round TKO loss to Hall seemed like a rightful stopping point. UFC president Dana White made it clear he no longer wanted to promote Silva’s fights, and he hoped “The Spider” would come to that conclusion, as well.

No dice.

Silva said he wanted to keep going, and as a result the UFC released him from the final bout of his contract, making the Brazilian a free agent.

Names capable of resonating to a broader audience are few and far between in MMA, and Silva is one of them. What an opportunity, right? This is one of the most decorated fighters in history. Which promotion wouldn’t want to pick up Silva and use his legendary name to help build its brand?

Turns out, pretty much all of them.

Bellator president Scott Coker was first out of the gate to show a lack of interest in Silva. It seemed like the perfect fit, as Bellator and Coker have a reputation for signing aging athletes and giving them more favorable matchups in the final stage of their career. Bellator has recently moved in the direction of bringing in younger talent, though, and Silva apparently doesn’t fit the current vision of the company.

“I have a lot of respect for him, he’s one of my favorite fighters of all time,” Coker told MMA Junkie at Bellator 252 this month. “He is one of the greatest fighters in the history of this sport. … He might continue to fight and continue to compete, but I really love our roster, I love the things we’re doing here and I love the direction of the company, and that’s what we’re going to stay focused on.”

PFL, the third biggest promotion in the U.S., took a more stern stance. PFL president Ray Sefo, who also competed in combat sports well into his 40s, advised Silva to retire.

“He’s definitely gonna go down in history as one of the best to ever do it,” Sefo told “Nothing but a lot of respect but I just think it’s that time to hang it up.”

If it seemed like Silva’s fortunes would prove better overseas, then that assumption has proved wrong thus far. One of the top players in Asia, ONE Championship, is not keen on vying for his services, either.

“I am a huge Anderson Silva fan. Without a doubt, he is one of the best ever to do it. That being said, athlete safety is our number one priority at ONE Championship. As such, we will not be bidding for his services,” ONE Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong recently told “I wish Anderson much happiness and success in whatever he chooses to do next.”

With top MMA organizations seemingly agreeing they want no part in allowing Silva to continue fighting, there have got to be other options, right? Even if it was outside of MMA? We’ve seen Bare Knuckle FC swoop in and sign some notable fighters in recent years, and although it’s got a bit of a grungy stigma attached, history shows ethics aren’t the promotion’s top priority.

Yet somehow, Silva isn’t even wanted there.

“At this time we are not interested in Anderson Silva competing for BKFC,” BKFC president David Feldman told “He’s a legend and I loved watching him fight. We need to concentrate on building our fighters already signed to BKFC.”


So, what’s going to happen with Silva now? Not every organization has dismissed him. Combate Americas and Rizin FF are there, but they don’t exactly register as logical fits. Anyone else in the game likely wouldn’t be able to pay Silva what he wants.

And that, ultimately, is what this is likely to come down to. Silva can beat the drum about his continued passion and love for fighting, and how being active in this sport is like his “air.” That’s a nice sentiment, and almost certainly rooted in some truth. However, it’s quite doubtful Silva is going to fight for peanuts, so the options are becoming increasingly limited.

Perhaps that’s the only way to convince Silva to move on. And if that’s the case, he’s being done a favor here.