LAS VEGAS – Anderson Silva continues to inspire not only future generations of fight talent, but also his fellow all-time greats.
On the red carpet prior to the UFC Hall of Fame induction ceremony Thursday, former champions Georges St-Pierre and Jon Jones both used the word “inspiring” to describe Silva’s career resurgence in boxing.
“What an inspiring performance,” St-Pierre told reporters, including MMA Junkie. “I, myself, was very (skeptical). I was afraid for him when he fought (Julio Cesar) Chavez (Jr.) because Chavez is a real champion in boxing and he took him out of his comfort zone. It’s to the same level of his best performance of MMA. He did it in boxing. It was just incredible.”
Silva, 46, departed the UFC in late 2020 following three straight losses. In June 2021, Silva competed in his first professional boxing match since 2005 when he fought former WBC champion Chavez Jr. and won by split decision. In September 2021, Silva won in boxing again with a quick first-round knockout of fellow former UFC champion Tito Ortiz.
“Anderson Silva’s boxing match was beautiful,” Jones said on the red carpet. “I have no problem with Tito Ortiz, but I love Anderson. I was so proud of him – to see him still hitting hard and just looking great. (He’s) still an inspiration, still inspiring me to this day. So thank you, Anderson.”
St-Pierre expects to continue feeling inspired by “The Spider” as long as the Brazilian fighter knows when to hang up the boxing gloves before it gets too late.
“I just hope he will retire on top and not end his new boxing career like in UFC,” St-Pierre said. “At the end (in the UFC), it was kind of sad. I wish him the best of luck and I’m always a fan. I really enjoy watching him fight. As a fan, I want him to keep going, but as a human being, nobody can beat time. I just hope he’s healthy, happy and wealthy in everything and can take care of himself.”
Photos: Anderson Silva through the years
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Photos: Georges St-Pierre through the years
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Photos: Jon Jones through the years
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