The legendary Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva has decided to retire from mixed martial arts (MMA).
He has beaten fighters such as Fedor Emelianenko and Alistair Overeem, and was a UFC heavyweight title contender… But has, in the previous 15 fights, won only one of them.
So, he made the decision to walk away from MMA:
I fought the best, I beat the best and also lost to the best. There’s a time in life when you can’t…
I fought in Russia, back-to-back fights basically. And I’m not taking anything away from my MMA opponent [Oleg Popov], but I never saw myself losing to this guy three or four years ago. This guy has nothing for me, but I’m 43 now.
I still have the same head I had when I was 35, but my body isn’t 35 anymore. It’s different. We have to respect it. Everybody has a limit.
It’s hard to say: “I’ll stop, I can’t anymore.” It’s hard for any professional in any sport.
Bigfoot emphasized that, even though his health was always on point, he is concerned about the future. So, he’ll stay involved in the sport by being a grappling and BJJ coach:
I had a tumor years ago, had two surgeries, and every time [I had] a knockout or knockdown I ran tests to see if everything was OK because I’m a human being, a father.
I’ll leave the sport professionally, I have wife and kids and people to take care of, people I love and that love me.