UFC president Dana White and 185-pound top contender Chael Sonnen may have done it. It appears middleweight king Anderson Silva is FINALLY motivated to defend his untouchable belt at UFC 117.
“It’s going to be a fun fight,” Silva told Sherdog.com of facing his trash-talking rival. “He’s gonna hit me, I’m gonna hit him. Things that people are used to watching.”
Therein lies the problem when it comes to the enigmatic Silva. Nobody can say they’re “used to” anything when it comes to Anderson – outside of expecting the unexpected, of course.
When tested, “The Spider” emerges and fans are treated to MMA’s most lethal marksman. An intimidating and imposing figure that can pretty much wax the floor with anyone this side of Bruce Lee.
However, it’s been almost a full calendar year since Silva jabbed Forrest Griffin into unconsciousness at UFC 101. That light heavyweight affair was the last time the Brazilian’s mastery was showcased, much to the ire of White, Sonnen and ticket-paying fans alike.
“Whether you’re on top, whether you fight well, whether you don’t fight well, the critics are always going to be there. The thing that’s important is to go in and fight with your heart,” the misunderstood champ matter-of-factly said.
“It’s a new sport and a lot of the fans and a lot of the critics don’t know what’s going on, because of it being such a new sport. I think as time goes on, people will learn to appreciate MMA for what it is and understand what is going on inside the Octagon and not just what they think on the outside.”
While Silva appears more remorseful about the negative reaction his three consecutive uneventful title defenses have received – than the actual “embarrassing” behavior itself – MMA’s deadliest 185-pounder appears to have found his mojo once again. Whether it was White’s threats to fire the striker or Sonnen’s non-stop chatter that ignited the flame, Silva promises to make a vicious return to his once dominant ways.
“I have to be prepared for everything. I’m not expecting one thing. It’s a very vague fight. I’ve got to be prepared for everything. He’s been given this opportunity to fight for the belt and I have to be ready,” stated a motivated Silva.
Considering Silva has rattled off 12 consecutive wins, it’s odd to say he needs to “recapture” the magic. However, expectations are drastically higher when you’re nominated alongside Fedor Emelianenko and Georges St-Pierre as MMA’s G.O.A.T.