Mixed martial arts (MMA) fans have long been accustomed to Anderson Silva's seemingly impossible feats inside the Octagon, but almost nobody could have expected "The Spider" to return to the very cage that saw him break his leg in horrific fashion back at UFC 168 in late 2013.
That night, Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg exclaimed that fans around the globe may very well be witnessing the final chapter of the legendary former champion's career.
But, then Silva reminded us all of why he is so special; because time and again he proves doubters wrong, accomplishing what was once deemed impossible.
No matter the outcome of his UFC 183 main event against Nick Diaz last evening (Sat., Jan. 31, 2015) in Las Vegas, Nevada, "The Spider" had already won. Simply by walking to the Octagon -- in the exact venue that saw him break his leg 13 months earlier -- the former champion had proven that nothing can stop him from being the legend he truly is.
Ultimately, the future Hall of Famer did pick up the victory over Diaz (highlights here), and while we only saw short glimpses of "The Spider's" former brilliance, it was evident the former champion had something left to show off for his fans.
Then came the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, and suddenly MMA seemed so miniscule in terms of importance. Silva shared with Rogan -- and the millions watching around the world -- that his family desperately wanted him to retire from the sport he was the face of for so many years.
"The Spider" then echoed the sentiment at the post-fight press conference (watch the full replay here).
"My son talked to me serious. When I talked to my son, my son cried. 'Dad, stop, please. Back home. Please. You don't need more fights.' I need to talk to my family. I love my job. This is me. I love fight. But, I need to talk to my family, because this is more important to my life now."
With the rare opportunity to hang up his gloves rather than "going out on his shield," it seems that "The Spider" may truly opt to retire once and for all following his victory at UFC 183.
With 17 career UFC victories, an unrivaled highlight-reel, a die-hard legion of fans across the globe, and the respect of every MMA fan and fighter alike, Silva can be proud to retire on his own volition, as the greatest fighter of all time.
He's got nothing left to prove.
For complete UFC 183 results and coverage of all the night's action click here.
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