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Anderson Silva released from UFC contract

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Update: UFC President Dana White initially refuted the report and claimed the promotion still had rights to “The Spider,” then later clarified he made a mistake and that Silva was indeed released.

UFC 117: Anderson Silva v Chael Sonnen Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that former middleweight champion Anderson Silva was done with the promotion, despite the fact that “The Spider” still had one fight remaining on his current deal.

Legally, UFC had to honor that last fight or cut him loose so the Brazilian could compete elsewhere. According to a report from MMA Fighting, the promotion opted for the latter, which means “The Spider” can start negotiating with rival promotions.

Unfortunately, the options outside UFC remain slim.

Perhaps if Silva had said goodbye to UFC a few years back, a transition to Bellator MMA would have been inevitable. But these days, Scott Coker and his team have been turning away 40-something veterans, ending what used to be considered the UFC retirement home.

That said, there are still a few alternatives for “The Spider,” who turns 46 in April, if he does choose to continue fighting. He can follow fellow UFC export Vitor Belfort to ONE Championship, or head back to Brazil for Taura MMA.

Or maybe he can listen to his kids and simply ride off into the sunset.