Image Credit: USA Today Sports

Anderson Silva has long been regarded as one of the greatest fighters ever, but Jose Aldo admits that the latest USADA flag that’s been handed the legend, could have a significant, negative effect on his legacy.

Silva was supposed to fight Kelvin Gastelum this Saturday at UFC Fight Night 122 in Shanghai, but, recently USADA announced the Brazilian star had been notified of a potential doping violation. As a result, Michael Bisping has stepped in for Silva, at the Shanghai event.

This marks the second time the former middleweight champ has been flagged by USADA, as in  2015, Silva tested positive for drostanolone metabolites and methyl androstane and was suspended for a year. Silva denied knowingly taking banned substances, and his team claimed the failed test was due to a contaminated sexual-performance enhancing drug.

Well, while speaking to the media recently, Aldo was asked to weigh-in on how this could impact Silva’s legacy, if he’s unable to prove his innocence (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“Whether you like it or not, it does diminish it a lot,” Aldo said. “He’s an idol for us. For those who are in the MMA community, not so much, but for the fans, yes (it hurts his legacy). They have a different view. And he got caught twice. If it were once, we could maybe say something. But twice, it could condemn him to that. It could taint a career that, for me, was one of the best.”

“I think this taints someone’s entire career,” Aldo added. “Many fans and reporters, people in the MMA community, they now say Anderson was the champion because he was doping all along. This really taints someone’s career. So I try to take every precaution and do everything the right way. Before starting a camp, I e-mail (the World Anti-Doping Agency) and USADA saying everything I’m going to take and then, when they say it’s OK, we start…”

It’s going to be very interesting to see what unfolds, in terms of Silva’s due process here. When you consider Silva is now 42 year’s old, and that he’s been suspended before for PEDs, a multi-year suspension might bring a close to his career.

More recently, Silva reported that his medical team is looking into how this latest USADA flag could have occurred.