The world from the eyes of Silva is a much different place now that he is no longer a UFC champion. After losing to Weidman at UFC 162, the red carpet was immediately pulled from underneath Silva’s feet.
People still respect him as a legend in the sport, but there is a different kind of love and respect that comes along with being a UFC champion. Silva enjoyed it unconditionally for nearly seven years.
For Silva, it isn’t so much about what the media and fans think of him. During an appearance on The MMA Hour, he admitted that the most important titles he can ever wear are that of a husband, father and son: “It's normal. It's the game, but my family is normal. This is more important for me—my sons, my wife, my brothers and dad. Other people, whatever.”
“Normal” was a word often used by Silva on The MMA Hour, which is strange considering his career is anything but normal.
Who else can lay claim to even accomplishing half of what Silva has done in his UFC tenure?
Sadly, MMA fans tend to live solely in the present with a short-term memory span. A fighter is only as good as his last fight, and anything that comes beforehand is eradicated from memory. Silva, who has accomplished everything there is to accomplish in the UFC, isn’t allowing himself to become a prisoner of the moment.
He remembers vividly everything he’s achieved in MMA and, regardless of the outcome of his rematch with Weidman, he doesn’t feel like he has anything left to prove:
Come on bro, definitely no. I'm working hard for a long time. My big goal is to train the kids and new athletes coming. I’m normal guy. Sometimes I have good day, sometimes I don't have good day. People will have the new chance to see the real Anderson. It’s normal.
It’s been a long time since Silva has been branded as a contender.
On December 28, Silva travels back in time to the days where he was the hungry contender yearning for an opportunity to prove himself as the best in the world. The rematch being in December almost sounds too good to be true.
Shopping can get a bit tedious around the holidays, which is why Silva decided to get Weidman’s Christmas present early. As Silva spoiled to The MMA Hour, the gift is simply a knockout with a return address to Weidman attached to it: “I [will] give back the knockout. I’m working hard now. Chris is the new champion and is a great fighter, but I'm training hard. The new Anderson is coming.”
There is only one appropriate response to the possibility of seeing a new and improved Anderson Silva: “Gulp.”