MMAJunkie.com reports the former UFC middleweight champ was recently a guest on Brazilian talk show Legendários, where he addressed accusations that he threw the fight against Weidman.
Struggling to fight back the tears, Silva admitted he was embarrassed by the possibility of the allegations reflecting shame on his home country.
A translation of Silva's response was recently posted on MMA Underground:
I’m Brazilian, and people respect my story outside of our country – Japan, England, USA, and we very respected. We do our job very well. On the side of fixing the fight, and me selling it, I’m a little annoyed because when I enter the Octagon, I represent my country and I represent all the Brazilians here and outside who cheer me. It got me very upset, people thinking I sold the fight. I always said it’s a Brazilian belt, if it’s with me or another Brazilian, I always said I don’t want to fight with another Brazilian. If another Brazilian won, I would cheer them on. I wanted the belt to stay here. I’m not a politician, I’m an athlete and I represent my country and I’ll never fail them. Never.
It’s common for star athletes to venture to the States and seek out the Hollywood lifestyle, but unlike many of his peers, Silva has remained fixated on his roots as a Brazilian fighter. Even his blue-chip sponsors, Nike and Burger King, are the franchises stationed in Brazil.
Throughout his career, Silva has shown pride in his ability to represent his home country in the best way possible. All of his hard work and dedication eventually paid off when he became UFC champion and held onto the title for seven years. Unfortunately, nothing lasts forever, and the MMA world learned that the hard way at UFC 162.
Silva did what he always does—dropped his hands and taunted in an attempt to force Weidman to make a mistake. The same “clown-like” tactics were used against Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar, Thales Leites, Patrick Cote, Demian Maia and Yushin Okami. The Maia bout in particular was so bad that UFC president Dana White even threatened to release Silva from his contract.
Perhaps people are still stunned by the fact that arguably the greatest fighter of all time was knocked out by a relatively unknown contender with only a 9-0 record. The only way for some to make sense of the situation is to make excuses and draw up conspiracy theories. In a way, Silva has taken the loss better than most of his fans.
He understands Weidman isn’t just some overnight sensation who haplessly took advantage of a golden opportunity. The new UFC champ is an incredibly talented middleweight who has been on the prospect watch by hardcore fans for several years now.
Silva never claimed to be the perfect fighter. With so many aspects involved in the sport, MMA fighters must constantly evolve to remain at the top. Like Pops from Friday said, “You win some, you lose some. But you live, you live to fight another day."
While the MMA community dwells on the past and engages in conspiracy debate, Silva’s primary focus will be on finding a way to rectify his wrongs in the already scheduled December 28 rematch. Hopefully, this interview quells the clown talk.
Anything that causes a grown man to cry on national television isn’t a joking matter.
Jordy McElroy is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMAwriter for Rocktagon Worldwide.
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