There has been a great deal of talk about how top-ranked middleweight contender Chris Weidman will pose the biggest test of Anderson Silva’s career when the two square off on July 6.
UFC president Dana White recently said, “All the pros, like, when you talk to all the fighters, every fighter out there that I've talked to and that we've interviewed think(s) Weidman's going to beat him.”
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre has gone on record with Sportsnet, saying, “Not only is he going to beat, I believe he is going to finish Anderson Silva. I believe it's not going to be too long, that fight. This, people will be shocked."
One person that isn’t sweating that kind of talk is Anderson Silva, who sees nothing special about his fight against Weidman at UFC 162, saying, “A fight’s a fight, and this is another fight.”
Weidman is a strong wrestler. Along with those wrestling skills, he possesses a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It’s that combination of skills that give him the chance at the upset.
One would think that perhaps Silva would train to the strengths of his opponent, but that has not been the case. According to Silva, “I don't really train thinking about my opponent. I train to do what I do best, and I've been doing since I was a kid, which is fighting. I train to overcome myself. I train to satisfy myself, not to satisfy anyone else. I'm not thinking about my opponent, I'm thinking more about myself, and getting better at what I do.”
The champion doesn’t really seem concerned about how his style matches up to Weidman’s or what strengths Weidman will bring. Instead, Silva feels the fight will be decided by whom the better prepared fighter is once the cage door locks behind them.
“Every fight is a new challenge, and it's going to come down to who is better prepared that night," Silva said. "Win or lose, the winner and loser always walk side by side. That doesn't really matter to me. I've been doing this since I was eight years old, and there's always new challenges, and my biggest concern is going out there and doing better for myself. I want to better myself, and I want to overcome anything that I have.”
Silva may have to wait on some of the new challenges he mentions, considering he recently re-upped with the UFC for 10 more fights, per MMAJunkie.com. Speaking of fighting to the end of that deal, Silva said, “Everything's a possibility, but it's really going to come down to my willpower and my desire to still be fighting. I have a lot of other things I want to do, a lot of other desires. One of those is fighting Roy Jones. We're just going to see how things work out in the next few fights and how I feel.”
Do you want to see Silva vs Jones Jr?
Many have wondered why Silva would want to fight Jones, a boxer whose best days are well behind him. “I feel that his boxing style is one that I would like to test myself against,” Silva said. “I've always been a fan of his, and I've always wanted to test myself against Roy Jones.”
Whether that fight happens against Jones or not, or whether he loses to Weidman on July 6, Silva feels that he has already done everything he can do in the sport of MMA, “Whatever I should have already done in this sport, I've already done. Win or lose, I've already done everything that there is to do, and now it's just a matter of doing what I love to do.”
It’s hard to argue with that statement. The UFC record book is littered with Silva’s accomplishments. Win or lose against Weidman, that fact is not likely to change in the very near future. Silva’s established his legacy; he’s looked at by many as the greatest MMA fighter in the history of the sport. If he wants to go out there and have some fun and do what he loves to do, who’s going to say no to that?
It does make you wonder though, if he wasn’t doing what he loved to do in his past fights, if he was more worried about the outcome than enjoying himself, what kind of Silva are we going to see on July 6? Is there another level inside Silva that he’s been holding back? Now that’s a scary thought.
*Al quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.