Silva made waves in the MMA community last week when he reportedly told a Brazilian cable channel that he expected to retire next year. The interview has not yet aired but the alleged statement was released in a written excerpt.
Soares said Silva retiring next year was "absolutely impossible," but that he likely would finish his current contract before calling it quits.
"His goal has always been to retire at 35 years old. That's his goal," said Soares, who earlier today flew in from Brazil, where he spent time with Silva. "He's still got a good 19 months until he turns 35. He's got six fights still on his contract. He'd love to retire at 35 and finish on top."
The 33-year-old Silva is currently riding an eight-fight win streak that has included two knockout victories over former UFC champ Rich Franklin and a submission against ex-PRIDE belt-holder Dan Henderson. In July, Silva moved up to the light-heavyweight division and needed only 61 seconds to knock out James Irvin. He is scheduled to return back to the 185-pound weight class to defend his belt against top contender Patrick Cote next month in Chicago.
He will turn 35 on April 14, 2010, but Soares said the champion's retirement won't come on any particular date, but likely sometime during that year.
"It's been something he's thinking about even before he was champ," said Soares, who's been his manager for three years. "It's not like he's not getting challenged. The reason people care more about it now is because of who he is. If he said two years ago that he was going to retire at 35, if he had said it before he faced Rich Franklin the first time, there wouldn't be this reaction."
Soares said Silva has a desire to spend more time with his family. Silva has four children and spends much of his time on the road training and competing. Soares estimated Silva only gets to spend about 25 percent of his time at home.
After the Cote fight, Silva will have five fights left on his current contract. Silva fought three times in '07 and his next fight will be his third of '08, so given his work output, he could conceivably satisfy the terms of his current deal by April of '10.
"He's in his prime, and I can tell you right now, he's still full steam ahead," Soares said. "Maybe he gets to 35 and he still feels great. I told him, 'If you get to 35 and change your mind, that's fine. But let's complete one goal: let's get to 35 and make that decision."
Video: MMA from NBC Sports
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