12:50 PM PT -- Dana White tells TMZ Sports he was mistaken earlier -- confirming Anderson Silva HAS been released from his UFC contract and is free to pursue his fighting career elsewhere.
That said, Dana does not think Anderson should continue -- pointing out he's lost 8 of his last 9 fights.
White tells us Silva is a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame and he wishes Anderson the best moving forward.
Anderson Silva is retired -- but he's still under contract with the UFC despite reports to the contrary, according to Dana White.
The UFC boss tells TMZ Sports ... the promotion did not and has not agreed to part ways with the 45-year-old after his last fight against Uriah Hall at UFC Fight Night on Oct. 31.
Silva reportedly still has 1 fight left on his UFC deal -- but MMA Fighting reports the two sides agreed to part ways after Anderson's 4th-round loss to Hall.
UFC boss Dana White says that's just not the case -- explaining that Silva remains under contract, so if he wants to fight again, he's bound to the UFC.
But, Dana says Anderson is "retired" -- so, there's not a real expectation that he will fight in the UFC ever again.
Silva (34-11) is considered one of the greatest MMA fighters of all time -- with victories over stars like Forrest Griffin, Vitor Belfort, Chael Sonnen, Stephan Bonnar, Dan Henderson and more.
He set the record for longest win streak in UFC history with 16 in a row (from 2006 to 2013) and is a lock for the UFC Hall of Fame.
But, he's only won 1 of his last 9 fights and it's become clear his best days are behind him.
There was a buzz Anderson could jump to Bellator -- but CEO Scott Coker recently shot that down saying the promotion was happy with its current roster.
Originally published -- 9:41 AM PT