Anderson Silva bid an emotional farewell to the UFC on Saturday in Las Vegas.
The Brazilian fighter suffered a fourth-round TKO defeat to Uriah Hall in his final, UFC octagon appearance.
Despite a solid start, the end for Silva, in stark contrast to his career, came quick.
In the fourth round, Hall landed a spearing fist, dropping the 45-year-old legend onto his back. And, as the Jamaican rained down blows referee Herb Dean promptly stepped in to end the fight.
Following the stoppage, the two men shared an emotional moment. As the pair embraced, Hall broke down in tears, apologizing for having defeated the man who had helped inspire him to become an MMA fighter. To a ring of applause, Hall then added, “you are still one of the greatest.”
Despite the blood dripping down his face, Silva managed a smile, offering his opponent words of support and urging him to enjoy the moment: “Thank you so much champ. Thank you for doing this for me.”
“I love you… I’m so sorry.”
In the post-match interview, Silva acknowledged how hard the decision to walk-away has been. “Today is the final day. I’m so happy to be here doing my final show for my fans in the UFC.”
Still, Silva stopped short of saying whether he was hanging up his gloves for good. “I don’t know, first I go back home and see everything with my team. It’s tough to say whether it’s my last or not.”
Should Silva, indeed, walk away he leaves the sport as arguably one of its greatest middleweights. In his prime, he displayed an uncanny array of strikes and unmatched dominance. Ruling as the undisputed king of his division for a record 2,457 days. A glitteirng career that included a 17-fight win streak that lasted from 2006 to 2012.
To some, he’s the 🐐.
To some, he’s a legend.
One thing is sure, there’s only one 🕷. pic.twitter.com/dbPV0yjL5J
With 34 wins (23 knockouts) and 11 loses, Silva recorded victories over multiple UFC champions, including Rich Franklin, Forrest Griffin and Vitor Belfort. His brilliance helped inspire a generation, prompting Hall, along with a slew of others, to bow down in tribute to the man known as “The Spider”.