Remember when Chuck Liddell ruled the world?
Yeah, me neither.
Remember when Rich Franklin KO'd the Iceman with a broken arm?
Sadly, I do too.
When it comes to legacies in MMA, they're fragile. By now, most basketball fans have blotted out the vision of Michael Jordan rocking the teal and gold of the Washington Wizards and still think of Jordan triumphantly holding up six fingers after winning his sixth title or burying a mid-range jumper over Craig Ehlo.
The point is, in most sports we remember athletes at their best. In MMA, once the invincible aura is broken, there is no recovering it.
Liddell, who put on won of the best fights in UFC history with Silva, is the poster child of this phenomenon as his 1-5 record in his last six fights forever tarnished the way that we look at Liddell and his legacy. For Silva, it may be too late for him to learn from Liddell's mistake of hanging on too long—he is 2-3 in his last five fights, but retiring now could keep him from suffering a really embarrassing loss.
We don't want one of our last images of Wandy to wind up like our last image of Liddell, stonewalled by a man with a broken arm.