When Anderson Silva steps into the Octagon to fight Israel Adesanya this weekend ... it could be the end of his legendary career if he gets knocked out ... so says Dana White.
The two UFC stars are facing off at UFC 234 in Australia on Saturday -- and with Silva about to turn 44 years old, we asked White if a violent loss would essentially mark the end for the Spider.
"I don't know. I would probably imagine [it would be the end]," White said ... noting, "But, who knows with this guy."
White explained that Silva is such a fierce competitor and fitness-aholic, that it's possible he would take another fight ... but either way, he's a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame.
Silva has been suspended for testing positive for PEDs in his career, but White says despite his mistakes, the guy is one of the best fighters in MMA history ... and deserves to be enshrined.
The twist ... if Silva BEATS Adesanya, White says he'll likely get a shot at the middleweight title.
Of course, the man who holds that belt is Robert Whittaker -- who's fighting Kelvin Gastelum in the main event at UFC 234. So, winner gets winner.