Editor’s note: This article was originally published on MMAJunkie.com.
GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Anderson Silva is having fun in the latest chapter of his storied combat sports career.
The former UFC middleweight champion and all-time MMA great gets excited at the prospect of being able to try his hand in a wide range of combat sports now that he’s no longer under contract with the UFC. Silva fought his final bout with the Las-Vegas based promotion in October, when he headlined UFC Fight Night 181 against Uriah Hall.
The bout with Hall ended a 15-year run inside the octagon spanning 24 fights. The 46-year-old is glad he finished his contract with the UFC, as he’s now able to dictate his future – something fellow MMA star Georges St-Pierre wasn’t able to do when UFC blocked him from fighting Oscar De La Hoya in boxing.
“I put in my heart and I helped put the UFC in a different level,” Silva told MMA Junkie. “Of course my era is done in the UFC, but I just finished (my contract) because when I came in the UFC I was a free man. When I come out of the UFC, I’m a free man.
“I just want to do something I love to do. And let me tell you something important, nobody can say something for you, ‘You can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ You can do everything in your life when you have passion and love. The people can’t hold you. Of course, maybe George (St-Pierre) has contract, then he has contract, but that doesn’t make sense. Dana White doesn’t need this.”
Silva is days away from accomplishing a long-time dream, which involves him jumping into the sport of boxing against former WBC middleweight champion Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.. The two meet in the main event of the “Tribute to the Kings” event on Saturday in Mexico.
The Brazilian wanted to box Roy Jones Jr. years ago before the recent wave of MMA fighters crossing into the boxing world. Silva and Jones Jr. had publicly stated interest in putting together the bout, but the bout never materialized.
“I put (it) on the table many, many years ago that opportunity to show the world,” Silva said regarding not getting the opportunity to box Jones Jr. “I gave the opportunity for the UFC to change everything, but it didn’t happen at the moment and that’s fine. I think now everything is new and people want to see the entertainment.”
Silva has his eyes set on his boxing return this Saturday, but beyond that, “The Spider” has no idea what lies next for his career. And that’s more than fine with him.
“Everything is possible,” Silva explained.”Now I’m just trying to challenge myself. Maybe I fight on the same card my son is fighting kickboxing. Maybe fight jiu-jitsu – GI or no GI. Maybe muay-Thai. I’m very excited to go to Thailand, and train and fight in Thailand. I don’t know. Everything is possible.”
This article was originally published on boxingjunkie.usatoday.com