The end of an era. Anderson Silva was last night released from his UFC contract after 14 years with the promotion.

First reported by MMAFighting, the Brazilian is now free to sign with any organisation if he chooses to continue fighting instead of hanging up his gloves.

UFC President Dana White initially denied that this happened to TMZ, before saying he was mistaken and confirmed that Silva had parted ways with the UFC.

The former UFC middleweight champion leaves with a promotional record of 17-7, boasting wins over top names such as Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin (x2), Demian Maia and Forrest Griffin.

One of the most dominant champions in MMA history, Silva only trails Belfort in the most knockouts in UFC history with 11 to his compatriot’s 12 finishes by strikes.

However, after compiling a spotless 16-0 record in the UFC and much of that as champion, age caught up with “The Spider” and his fortunes took a turn for the worse in the Octagon.

Since 2013, Silva lost seven of his nine fights, the other two being a win and a No Contest. The 45-year-0ld leaves the UFC on a three-fight losing run following a decision loss to UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya before knockout defeats to Jared Cannonier and Uriah Hall.

After that loss to Hall in October, White said he would not allow Silva to compete in the UFC again.

One of mixed martial arts’ all-time greats, it’s unclear what Silva has planned next.