Anderson Silva Claims He Held Back Against Thales Leites at UFC 97

Tim McTiernan@tmt2393Correspondent IAugust 30, 2012

LAS VEGAS, NV - NOVEMBER 30:  Mixed martial artist Anderson Silva holds the Knockout of the Year award for his victory over Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 at the Fighters Only World Mixed Martial Arts Awards 2011 at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort November 30, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Anderson Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. He has an overall record of 32-4, with a record of 15-0 in the world's top organization, the UFC.

In addition to those 15 wins, he has finished his opponent in 13 of those fights.

The first person to go the distance with Silva was Thales Leites at UFC 97.

Leites got the title shot on a five-fight winning streak, including a fight against Nate Marquardt that he won by split decision after Marquardt was docked two points.

The fight between Leites and Silva was underwhelming and was a precursor to Silva's fight against Demian Maia at UFC 112.

Now, a little light has been shed on why the fight was so underwhelming, as Anderson Silva spoke to Tatame and talked about it.

Silva said:

There’s no such thing as holding back. I want to finish as soon as possible. The only time I did it was because he was a friend of mine. It was against Thales Leites. We went until the last round because he’s a friend of mine and I respect him.

Silva's take on fighting friends is certainly different than that of other fighters. Other fighters will either outright refuse or will just go out and have a normal fight.

Silva is the first person—to my knowledge—who has admitted to holding back in a fight with a friend.


Tim McTiernan is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. For the latest news on everything MMA, follow him on Twitter @TimMcTiernan.