Anderson Silva's Legacy Hinges on Performance at UFC 117

Tim NgoCorrespondent IMay 25, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 08:  Anderson Silva celebrates after defeating Forrest Griffin during their light heavyweight bout at UFC 101: Declaration at the Wachovia Center on August 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

After leaving a sour taste in everyone’s mouths following his performance at UFC 112 against Damien Maia, middleweight champion Anderson Silva understands that his legacy may depend on how UFC 117 unfolds.

“Whether you’re on top or whether you fight well, whether you don’t fight well the critics are always going to be there. The thing that’s important is to go in and fight with your heart,” Silva told .

In No. 1 contender Chael Sonnen, many expect “The Spider” to finally be pushed into operating at 100 percent. It is something MMA’s most lethal striker has failed to do in his last three lackluster title defenses.

“He’s getting an opportunity to fight for the belt and I have to be ready,” the 185-pound king stated.

Through his 11 victorious Octagon outings, the Brazilian has shown glimpses of being the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world. At the same time, he has also appeared bored while coasting to easy wins—something that has drawn the ire of fans worldwide.

“This is such a new sport that a lot of the fans and a lot of the critics don’t really know what’s going on—because of it being such a new sport,” Silva explained. “I think as time goes on people will start to learn how to appreciate MMA for what it is and understand a little bit more what’s going on inside the Octagon and not just what they think on the outside.”

The table is set for an exciting middleweight showdown.

The question remains which Anderson Silva is going to show up inside the Oracle Arena on August 7.

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