) Silva is 38
2) Silva has 10 fights left on his contract. That would mean he would have to fight until he is roughly 45. Training year round at that age must be exhausting. Baseball players don't even make it to that age.
3) In order to get out of his contract, he would either need Dana White's permission or buy his way out costing him millions.
4) In his career as a UFC title holder, Silva has be in exactly one close fight. Chael Sonnen 1, in which he fought with a serious injury and still managed to submit Sonnen in the final round.
5) As a title holder, Silva is forced to fight top competition. This means he has to train hard to stay in fighting shape. Everyone is gunning for him. And, most importantly, as the unanimous best pound for pound fighter, he has people pestering him and his family all the time.
6) If Dana White were going to allow Silva to run off into the sunset and retire, he would need a champion to take his place. Preferably a good looking, god faring, all-American boy with the ability to defend his title for at least a few fights. And, that champion would need to earn the belt with a victory, rather than receive it as a hand me down. The bottom line is, Silva sells tickets. If tonights main event was Weidman Sonnen, I don't buy a PPV ticket and neither do millions of other viewers. Having knocked out Silva, UFC has a white all-american champ to carry the UFC torch with Jon Jones.
Evidence that he did throw the fight?
1) He entrance routine changed for this fight. He stopped and squatted on the yellow line before entering the arena as if to take everything in for one last time.
2) He kissed and hugged everyone on his team and thanked them before stepping into the ring.
3) Every punch he threw was with an open hand. I went back and watched the fight in slow motion. It's quite obvious.
4) Every kick missed by at least 8 inches, even though Weidman didn't dodge more than an inch or two. For the most accurate striker in MMA history, that's strange.
5) He clowned around the entire time he wasn't on the ground. Yes, he clowns around a lot. But, he never actually lets his opponents hit him in the face. Tonight, he was standing in and letting himself get hit. Maybe he was just being even more cocky than usual, BUT
6) Do you believe a guy that is cocky enough to act the way he does in the ring, would simply roll over, hand off the belt, turn down a title shot on the spot, and admit that Weidman is "The best now." Note: Silva doesn't speak English. He has never given a post-fight speech where he spoke so coherently in English. It was almost as if he has prepared that speech.
7) This is what convinced me he went into the ring intending to get knocked out. I didn't believe it after the first watch. I thought he just got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. But, at the end of the first round, when he is yelling at Weidman and telling him to hit him in the face, he dodges the punch like he always does with what appears to be instincts. Then, he mouths "come on" to himself, shakes his head as if he is psyching himself up to get hit, walks sideways with out looking at weidman, and then sticks his head out again and starts taking all of Weidman's punches to the face instead of dodging them.
8) Before he got knocked out, he was doing that fake wobble thing with his EYES CLOSED. Either he has zero respect for Weidman or he wasn't really trying to win. And, if he had zero respect for Weidman, why doesn't he want a rematch and why does he call him the best now in his post-fight speach.
9) Weidman thanks him for the "opportunity" in their embrace after he wins. What opportunity? Silva doesn't have control over who he fights. It isn't boxing. Was he talking about giving him an opening? Or, was he talking about letting him be champion?
10) While Silva has clowned around before, he always clowns then attacks. Tonight, he didn't attack once. He didn't throw a single punch with a closed fist in this whole fight.
Seriously. A season I will never forget.