Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva expressed his desire to have his last MMA bout in Japan against a former opponent. Silva is now 48 years old and has competed in four boxing matches since parting ways with the UFC in October 2020. However, he is determined to return to the MMA cage for one final bout.
In an interview with Fight Hub TV, Silva revealed that he wishes to have his last MMA bout in Japan. Japan holds a special place in Silva’s heart, as it was one of the countries where he competed before joining the UFC. He expressed his sentimental attachment to Japan and his desire to bid farewell to MMA in the same country where it all began.
Silva said: “I try to do my last fight in MMA in Japan because I start fighting in Japan. That’s what I try to do, my last fight in Japan, my last MMA fight in Japan.”
When asked about his preferred opponent for his last MMA bout, Silva mentioned Hayato Sakurai. Silva stated: “Maybe Hayato Sakurai… I think this is good fight for us. We will see.”
Hayato Sakurai is a retired Japanese mixed martial artist and kickboxer.
He was born on August 24, 1975, in Ibaraki, Japan. Sakurai is a former Shooto Welterweight Champion and has competed in several organizations such as Pride, K-1 HERO’S, and Dream.
He is known for his well-rounded skills in striking, grappling, and submissions, and is considered one of the pioneers of MMA in Japan.
Anderson Silva was born in 1976 and is his contemporary so it makes sense.
Silva competed in Brazil and Japan before he joined the UFC. He won the Shooto middleweight belt in 2001 by a unanimous decision win against Hayato Sakurai. In May 2018, Sakurai last competed in an exhibition match against Takanori Gomi.
Silva sees Sakurai as a suitable opponent for his final bout, and the matchup could be an exciting one for fans.
Since leaving the UFC, Silva has ventured into the world of boxing. He secured a surprising split decision win against Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and followed it up with a knockout victory against Tito Ortiz. Although he faced a loss against Jake Paul in October 2022 in an exhibition match, Silva remains determined to continue boxing and is open to future opportunities.