Conception of this idea occurred in partnership with large amounts of Gentleman Jack, Wings, and full blown shock. I recognize these events at being a low possibility at best, but that's the thing about conspiracy theories, there's always a chance (and they're fun).
Last night we finally got to see the greatest mixed martial artist of all time go down in flames; The best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be.
Last night we witnessed not the crowning of a new immortal, but rather a modern day, perfectly executed Montreal Screwjob....minus the screwing.
Anderdson is 38, he's done, he wants out. He wants to act. So Zuffa and Co. are faced with a situation; lose the best fighter in the world, which would cast a shadow that the next champion wouldn't be able to outgrow. The fans and the sport would be constantly calling for him back. It's the classic passing of the torch (no need to wonder why Anderson let Chris hold the belt, it was symbolic of what he was doing), Zuffa needs the fans behind the new champion. Taking off as champ just isn't good business; just ask Bret. Anderson and his Co. know this. So he jobs it. He gets out, gets to go to his new ventures, gets a massive monetary incentive, and provides the UFC with their next biggest thing. Zuffa is happy with their new, young, uber talented all-american hero, Anderson is happy (just check his post fight interview, he knew what he went in there to do) with his money and freedom and positive relationship with the UFC (ie: revenue from future appearances, roles, likeness, etc.) , and noone, including Weidman, is the wiser. It's perfect. Dana and Anderson streamlined Vince and Bret.
Beyond leaving on top simply being bad for business, there might have also been some legal webbing that could have caught the Spider up if he chose to simply walk. Check the links for explanation on the "Championship Clause." Noone wants to end up in court battling Couture-style for years.
"if, at the expiration of the Term, Fighter is then UFC champion, the Term shall be automatically extended for a period commencing on the Termination Date and ending on the earlier of (i) one (1) year from the Termination Date; or (ii) the date on which Fighter has participated in three (3) bouts promoted by ZUFFA following the Termination Date ("Extension Term"). Any references to the Term herein shall be deemed to include a reference to the Extension Term, where applicable."
The UFC’s clause is the most controversial because it lacks the clarity to be definitive. The consensus seems to be that most courts would interpret the clause to stipulate a one-term only extension of the contract. However, a very strained interpretation of the clause – one where "Term" could also refer to Extension Term – might allow the UFC to automatically renew the contract in perpetuity, so long as the fighter holds the belt at the end of each term.
The Clause, and whatever factor that might have played, wasn't the catalyst, simply an addition to the totality of events that lead to collaboration.
Anderson Silva went in there to get put down. He volunteered to be Ol Yeller'ed.
And it was beautiful. He didn't even flinch as he walked into the bright light.