For the first time in 14 years, Anderson Silva isn’t a UFC fighter.
A UFC official confirmed to MMA Junkie on Thursday that Silva, the former longtime middleweight champion, has been released from his contract. The news was first reported by MMA Fighting.
Silva, who still had one fight left on his contract, last competed Oct. 31 against Uriah Hall. Silva was finished by TKO for his third consecutive loss and sixth in his past eight fights, which includes a 2015 no-contest vs. Nick Diaz – originally a win for Silva – that was overturned after Silva failed a drug test.
Heading into his match with Hall, Silva, 43, told MMA Junkie that he would retire then left it up in the air after the fight. Now he’s a free to sign with another promotion should he choose to continue fighting on.
Bellator president Scott Coker, known to sign aging UFC veterans, last week indicated to MMA Junkie that he would not be interested in Silva’s services if he was available.
“I have a lot of respect for him. He’s definitely one of the greatest fighters in the history of mixed martial arts,” Coker said. “I really haven’t thought about it, but I think I’m happy with the way our roster is heading and the fighters that we have now.”
Silva made his professional MMA debut in 1997, competing in multiple organizations – including PRIDE – before making his UFC debut on June 28, 2006 with a knockout of Chris Leben. In his second UFC fight, Silva claimed the middleweight title by finishing Rich Franklin. Silva then went on to defend his title 10 consecutive times, a record that stood until Demetrious Johnson reached 11 in 2017.
Silva holds the record for longest title reign in UFC history at 2,457 days.