Despite the fact that he had one fight remaining on his contract, Anderson Silva and UFC have reportedly parted ways.
According to Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting, it was a mutual decision between Silva and UFC. Silva is now a free agent and able to sign with any promotion.
The 45-year-old Brazilian's final UFC fight occurred last month when he lost to Uriah Hall by fourth-round technical knockout at UFC Fight Night.
While Silva is considered one of the greatest fighters in UFC history, he has lost seven of his past nine fights with one win and one no contest during that stretch.
Despite having one fight left on his deal, UFC President Dana White made it clear after Silva's loss to Hall that he wouldn't fight again in UFC (h/t Damon Martin of MMA Fighting):
"Tonight, I don't feel good about myself that I let Anderson Silva fight this last fight. We've treated Anderson with nothing but respect, and if you guys knew what Anderson Silva gets paid to fight, you'd s--t your f--king pants. I think that we've treated him like family. I shouldn't have let him fight this fight tonight."
Following the loss to Hall, Silva released a statement on Instagram suggesting that he was retiring from fighting. In part of the statement, Silva wrote: "Today is a different day for a simple reason, say goodbye to an entire life dedicated to my sport."
Cruz reported that Silva has yet to make a final decision regarding his fighting future, however.
While Silva is 34-11 (1) overall and hasn't had much success since 2013, he was once arguably the most dominant fighter in the sport.
The Spider went 33-4 in his first 37 professional fights, including a 17-fight winning streak from 2006-12. During that streak, Silva won the UFC Middleweight Championship and defended it 10 times.
His 2,457-day reign as UFC Middleweight champion remains a UFC record.
While Silva is nowhere near the same fighter he was during his heyday, there is no question that he is still a big name with value in the world of MMA.
Because of that and the notion that fans will still tune in to watch his fights, it wouldn't be surprising if a smaller MMA promotion such as Bellator takes a chance on Silva provided he wants to continue fighting.