Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
Many expect Saturday’s TKO loss to Uriah Hall to be Anderson Silva‘s last fight, but Conor McGregor hopes it isn’t.
McGregor tweeted early Sunday morning that he hopes the UFC legend continues to fight, even at age 45:
Conor McGregor @TheNotoriousMMA
Sad to see tonight, but I say keep going! Real fighters never lose that fire so why try to force it out? Simply put time into finding the correct competition and continue on. The right competition is out there, for all levels and ages. Find it and do what you love to do! Forever! https://t.co/qFvPtCQuVE
Silva, one of the most decorated fighters in UFC history, has one fight remaining on his contract with the company. However, the longest-reigning middleweight champion in the sport’s history has one win in the last seven years. His TKO loss to Hall was his third consecutive and the second straight time he’s been stopped.
UFC President Dana White says he will never allow Silva to fight in the promotion again.
“I made a big mistake,” White told reporters. “I shouldn’t have let him fight this fight tonight. But out of respect for him—he’s a legend of this sport, a legend of this company—I did something I didn’t agree with. … Anderson Silva should never fight again.”
Silva did not commit to retirement after the bout, though he acknowledged this was likely his last time in the UFC. White acknowledged another promotion may try to sign Silva if he allows him out of his contract but hopes the legend does not put himself in danger.
“I’ll never let him fight here again,” White said. “I want him to retire. I hope when he goes home, his family tells him the same thing. … He’s almost 46 years old. Unless you’re trying to defend your f–king life or defend your family, no 46-year-old should ever be fighting. Period.”
McGregor, meanwhile, has retired and unretired at several points over the last few years despite being 13 years Silva’s junior. None of those retirements have ever stuck, so McGregor likely understands Silva’s inability to give up the sport.