In December of 2014, just a month before his fight with Nick Diaz, Anderson Silva sat down with then-UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta and banged out a 15-fight contract. It seems like Silva's contract negotiations were just as wild and unpredictable as his fights. Why would a 39-year-old former champion coming off a shattered leg, in a division full of killers, sign up for another half-decade of fighting? Anderson didn't need the money, and he didn't need to prove anything. He was one of the greatest fighters of all time. Why was he doing this? A bewildering fight against Nick Diaz led to a doping violation, which led to a confusing loss to Michael Bisping (in which he "knocked out" Bisping) and a fight against Daniel Cormier on two days of notice at UFC 200, and it's been a really weird, but utterly Anderson Silva past few years.
A glance at the Countdown to UFC 208 gives us a clue: Anderson Silva just likes fighting and he's going to be fighting for many years to come.
It seems like Anderson is dead-set on fighting out this contract, for better or worse. No one wants to see their hero get hurt, or take a fight well past their prime, but Anderson is enjoying himself, and in typical Silva fashion, he kind of has looked fine, right? He had Cormier hurt at UFC 200 (remember again: 48 hours notice), he beat Michael Bisping in my eyes, and now he's facing the type of opponent he would've eaten up in his glory years — a full steam ahead Derek Brunson.
Brunson is a wrestler by trade, but has 12 first round finishes. In his fight against Robert Whittaker at the end of 2016, he got caught up in headhunting and was knocked out himself.
Anderson is going to eat up that chin that Brunson keeps up, or his own chin (that has seen better days) is going to get touched. It might be a sad night for Silva fans once again.
But, that doesn't seem to matter to The Spider. He says it himself in the video: "May the best man win." Silva isn't being emotional, he's just having fun, working on his 4th fight on his current contract with 11 more to go.
So let's mentally prepare ourselves now, win or lose, that this isn't the end of Anderson Silva. In fact, we'll be seeing him for many more years to come.
Hopefully he can add to his highlight reel.