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Anderson Silva clarifies future plans for fighting after boxing Chael Sonnen in Brazil

Anderson Silva is a grandfather who just recently celebrated his 49th birthday, but that doesn’t mean he’s done fighting.

As he prepares to face old foe Chael Sonnen in a five-round exhibition boxing match on Saturday, the UFC Hall of Famer clarified that while this fight serves as his final appearance competing in his native Brazil, he still has other plans as far as his combat sports career is concerned. Though the matchup was promoted as his “grand finale,” Silva confirmed that’s only regarding fights in Brazil, but he’s not even considering retirement right now.

“No, I’m not retiring,” Silva said on The MMA Hour. “I’m just [doing] my last fight in Brazil.

“I’m a little sad — I’m so happy but a little sad because this event is very closed, it’s not for everybody. I’m excited, but a lot of fans called me and talked to me and send the messages, ‘Why don’t you [put this on] for everybody? Open for the public.’ I said, ‘I’m sorry, guys, I don’t have control over that situation.’ I think the whole team are working hard to make it a good show. I’m so excited. I’m so happy.”

The VIP style event featuring Silva vs. Sonnen and three other fights isn’t being held in a massive stadium or aren,a but rather a small, intimate gathering with a very limited amount of fans in attendance.

The card is also only airing in Brazil and won’t be made available internationally.

Silva admits he’s not sure why the promoters chose to make the fight such an exclusive affair, but he’s happy to go out in style against Sonnen in his final appearance in Brazil.

“It’s very, very restricted people, only VIP people,” Silva said. “I’m so happy. I’m so excited because I love fighting. I have the opportunity to fight again with Chael, to give a good show, this big gift to my fans in Brazil and that’s my last fight in Brazil.

“It’s a very private event. I don’t know why but I’m so happy.”

The fight on Saturday is also Silva’s first action since he lost a unanimous decision to Jake Paul back in October 2022. Despite the result that night, Silva says he never considered walking away from the sport due to the loss, and if anything, he believes more people need to show Paul respect for the career he’s building as a boxer.

“No, definitely not. Why [would I retire after that fight]?” Silva said. “No, definitely not. Everybody talking about because Jake only fights with the old guys.

“Jake has my respect. Because Jake continues to train everyday. The guy is working hard. After my fight with Jake, Jake stopped the fight and he’s doing a lot of things, and he goes inside the trailer to edit his own videos. Why people don’t respect this kid? The people need to respect because the guy has been successful [in his job]. The people don’t have a garage to do the same start talking bullshit. That’s the problem. I respect him a lot because the kid changed the whole game in this area. I’m so happy because I’m part of that. It doesn’t matter the result that I lost because I know how much I’m working hard and I know Jake is working hard too, and I know how hard Jake is working to make something different in this new game. I respect that a lot.”

As far as what comes next, Silva declined to reveal much, although he confirmed talks are already underway with Saudi Arabia serving as a possible landing spot for a future fight. He has an opponent who has been offered to him, but Silva says it’s too early to release the name because contracts still aren’t signed so something could potentially change.

“I started to negotiate my next fight,” Silva said. “We’ll see. Maybe in Saudi [Arabia]. I’m just waiting for the situation to become more clear.”

“I don’t have a dream opponent. Maybe Roy [Jones Jr. one day], but it’s not [him]. It’s a different guy, but it’s a good challenge for me. But I can’t talk about it because I don’t have permission to talk about that and I’m waiting for the contract and everything.”

Lately, Silva has focused only on boxing, and it doesn’t sound as if MMA is really an option right now, although he admits there are still plenty of offers out there for him to return to the sport.

“Sometimes people call me, the different people in Japan call me to fight in Japan,” Silva said. “My last MMA fight came in Japan. I train everyday, but I’m just waiting. I don’t know. There’s a lot of negotiations with my team.”

Silva won’t say much for now, but it looks as if Sonnen is just his first fight back to a busier schedule after a year-and-a-half layoff.

“I’m just waiting,” Silva said. “The guys talk with my team and negotiate with my team and I’m just waiting. We’ll see.”

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