Anderson Silva (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)Anderson Silva: The End of an Era Michael Davis February 2, 2015 News, Spotlight At UFC 183, Anderson Silva stepped into the Octagon for the first time since his horrific leg injury. That moment marked his second defeat to Chris Weidman, and it seemed like a certain end to Anderson Silva’s career. As the true champion he is, he found his way back and defeated Nick Diaz in his return. After going five rounds, the judges scorecards were read. As his hand was raised he collapsed to the ground in a heap of emotion. Tears flowing, the world got a glimpse into the much guarded Anderson Silva’s psyche. In the world of mixed martial arts, every week brings a scandal or a new big fight to focus on and it causes time to speed up quite quickly. For Silva though, it had been over two years since his hand was last raised and the effect was evident. His passion and love for the sport are undeniable, but it seems like a chapter closed following UFC 183. Silva would not say what his next move will be, but he mentioned that his family would like him to stop fighting. How could you blame them? As much as Silva loves fighting, he has absolutely nothing left to prove. Even though he defeated Diaz, there were only glimpses of the Anderson that we are all used to seeing. The once cocky fighter was timid. The thought of him getting into the ring with any of the top five middleweights doesn’t make a lot of sense either. He has expressed that he loves fighting, but doesn’t necessarily want to contend for the title even if he fights again. The only fight that would make much sense would be the Georges St. Pierre fight. It would no longer be a super fight, because neither have belts, but it is still something that would generate an enormous buy rate. Fans want to see it, and neither man would have to worry about the things that kept them from doing it in the past. With all of this in mind, one thing is very clear. The return of Anderson Silva provided closure. The questions of what he had left were answered, and it’s not a great outcome. It’s not the worst outcome, either; he is competitive and would most likely look better in his next outing, but he will never be what he once was. The only man it makes sense for him to fight, Georges St. Pierre, is in a similar position. These two men had the pound-for-pound list on lockdown for years, but time doesn’t stop for anyone. Those spots have been taken by Jon Jones and Jose Aldo. We also have Ronda Rousey, Chris Weidman, and up-and-coming stars such as Conor McGregor rising. It’s a different world and for many change is hard to accept. Michael Jordan came back after years of retirement, and how did that go? Not well, and even if it did, it wouldn’t be the same. Michael Jordan was an amazing athlete, and by far the best basketball player of his time, but he represented much more. He was the symbol that represented a golden era. The same goes for Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. When Anderson was at his best, he seemed immortal, and did incredible things inside the cage. He accumulated records that may or may not be broken in the future, but have yet to be topped. He will always be remembered as the greatest or one of the greatest of all time, but he represents much more. He was a member of the Chute Boxe fight team, then the Brazilian Top Team, and the most prominent member of the famed Black House gym, which was founded by his close friend and manager, Ed Soares. He fought in Pride and his star rose in the UFC. The story lines that he is tied to are endless, but as with every story, there must be an end. We may have read the last chapter of his storied career, and if we haven’t, we are certainly close to the end.