Anderson Silva, the undisputed king of the MMA stratosphere and reigning UFC 185-pound overlord, speaks about the dragon hidden within “The Spider,” the same fire-breathing dragon that has been the catalyst in his rise to fame, fortune and near enough MMA immortality.
In the arena of warriors, more times than not, The Spider has spun his intricate web of devastation (sucking the blood out of his hapless foes) with effortless efficacy, and in a Matrix-esque manner to boot
However, his ability to overcome the sometimes insurmountable and woo the masses with his phenomenal striking prowess was not achieved over night; it was accomplished through the school of hard knocks, and with that entered the dragon.
"When I was 8 I was already getting kicked in the face, getting beat up by the big kids. I was 8 years old but I was tall. I was a troublemaker, I would tease the big kids. I would get beat up in training and I would cry. They would say, ‘He ain’t coming back,’ and and I would always be there the next day, in their face—‘Do you want to beat me up?’ I want to see you try.’ Then I would get beat again, of course,” Silva explained with a laugh. “But while the big bullies didn’t want to learn, I wanted to learn. While the big kids were beating everyone without learning, I was learning. Then I became gnarlier than the big kids. You must have a dragon hidden inside of you. When you need, you let that dragon out.
"First you achieve your competence. Use your talent and believe in yourselves. Things will happen. But you have to believe that nothing is impossible,” said Silva to a group of training partners later in the clip. “Nobody is here only to be a sparring partner. You are not here to be anybody’s punching bag. We are here to help each other. Without you I would not be champion. And with me you will get farther than without me. So we’re here for each other.”
The 37-year-old Silva began his professional mixed martial arts career in his native Brazil before traipsing across the globe as far as Japan (Pride), England (Cage Rage) and even South Korea to establish himself in the realm of combative sports.
The turning point in his now storied career came in the guise of the UFC who saw his potential, and in 2006, signed him to a multi-fight contract.
A successful and jaw-dropping debut (a 49-second starching of Chris Leben) followed suit, and he hasn’t looked back since.
He captured UFC gold in only his second outing and has thus far defended the title a record nine times. Moreover, Silva (31-4 MMA) holds the record for most consecutive wins in the UFC—14. The Black House-trained fighter is currently riding a 15-fight unbeaten streak.
In addition, Silva also unified the UFC middleweight and PRIDE welterweight titles, submitting the legendary Dan Henderson.
On July 7, the inimitable Brazilian is slated to lock horns with his arch-nemesis and unheralded rival, Chael Sonnen, in a highly anticipated rematch for the aeons.
UFC 148 is scheduled for July 7, 2012, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.