While Anderson Silva has faced much stiffer competition than Chael Sonnen, their showdown at UFC 117 could very well be the biggest fight of “The Spider’s” illustrious career. With his job hanging in the balance, the Brazilian significantly changed up his training camp for this Saturday’s scrap. However, it wasn’t necessarily by design.
“Unfortunately, I can’t train in Brazil,” Silva told Sherdog.com. “I’m dealing with some issues with my green card, so I need to stay here. Because of all the diplomatic bureaucracy, I had to be here to fix everything.
“I’ll do my job and then I’ll go back to my family. I’m missing my children so much.”
Although the UFC middleweight champ prefers to conduct the majority of his camps in his homeland to remain close to the familia, Silva is a staple at Team Black House in Southern, California. In fact, that has become his home away from home over the past several months.
“I stayed here and it’s been very good. The training is incredible. Sometimes, I see Renato “Babalu” Sobral, and Fabricio Werdum always helps me too,” Silva said. “Lyoto Machida and his brother, Chinzo, are always here to train.”
In addition to the bevvy of Brazilian beasts Silva has had the luxury of choosing from, he also took his talent down the I-405 to Mark Munoz’s Reign Training Center to hone his mat skills with one of MMA’s best wrestlers.
Sonnen is a former collegiate All-American in his own right, so Munoz’s tutelage should go a long way in helping Silva avoid the takedown. However, his ground game wasn’t the only thing that got beefed-up while working at RTC. The 35-year-old also used their state-of-the-art weight room and workout facility to push his body to new heights.
“It’s been cool, I’m working on new moves and parts of my body I didn’t work before,” Silva said of his improved strength and agility. “It’s been great. It’s a different experience.”
After three consecutive lackluster title defenses, Silva has promised to return to his devastating ways. Not so much for the fact UFC president Dana White has threatened to fire him if he diverted back to his disenchanted demeanor, but considering all the junk that’s been spewing out of Sonnen’s mouth, it would be hard to imagine the mojo wouldn’t be returning.
The bitter rivals will meet this Saturday inside Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA to determine who the planet’s top 185-pounder is.