Anderson Silva is a legendary fighter and one of the few guys that probably stirs awe within the hearts of most MMA fans. Yet, regardless of all of his accomplishments there are fans that, although they respect the man, don’t particularly like him.
To put it in perspective, yes, he’s loved by many and respected by all, but there is a core group of fans who find Silva to be a cold, aloof, egotistical and dismissive fighter. As such, there are those that have been more than happy to root for any opponent that has challenged “The Spider” and simply because they’ve wanted him to lose and hopefully, get his ego knocked back a step or two.
Oddly enough though, most of the criticism that came Silva’s way post his loss to Weidman, came from his own fans and the bulk of that criticism revolved around their assessment of Silva’s (Octagon) ego, not his manner outside the ring; that he went in clowning around, that he showed no respect to his opponent and as such, paid the ultimate price by way of losing his belt.
However, those that didn’t criticize Silva for his UFC 162 performance, which were primarily Weidman’s fans, gave Anderson full credit for playing his usual game and saw nothing wrong with his conduct in the ring that night. Indeed, it’s Chris Weidman’s own personal view of the matter.
As such, it was the hope of those fans that picked Weidman to beat Silva, that in loss, the Spider might become a more humble and affable fighter outside the Octagon, and that as far as his ring performances go, none of them have any criticisms of the man.
Stepping back and looking at it, it’s hard not to see it all as rather ironic.
Silva’s supporters complain about his ring performance, but are fine with his attitude outside the cage, where Silva’s detractors think his antics in the ring are fine, but site his demeanor outside the Octagon as the problem, and the cause of their dislike of the man.
In terms of the two views of the x-champ, one can only be left with the impression that not much has changed since his loss. Silva still appears to be the same confident fighter he’s always been and not one who’s apt to walk away from his (successful) fighting style, yet and despite his loss to Weidman, is still the same aloof fighter he’s always been, and doesn’t seem to have been humbled at all.
In his media scrum for the current UFC world tour promoting his upcoming December 28th rematch bout with Weidman, Silva appears to be his usual dismissive self and his contempt for dealing with the media is almost palpable. To be blunt, Silva seems to be completely bored with not only the press, but with MMA in general.
During the scrum, Silva, as usual, pretended to not understand English, having his manager Ed Sores repeat each question in Portuguese, only to turn around and directly answer questions that he liked and minus any translations. To his detractors, this is exactly the type of thing that they point to when they proclaim him to be arrogant. As Chael Sonnen said of Silva years ago (paraphrasing), he speaks the “King’s English” perfectly and his pretense of not understanding the language is an act. As such and given that fans and reporters alike have caught on to the scam, it serves no purpose other than to re-enforce the old opinions of Silva, as being arrogant and suffering from a sense of entitlement.
As a side note, it probably also has a great deal to do with why so many fans have embraced Chris Weidman and his “aw-shucks” personality. Where some fans find Chris boring to listen to, others find his affable and approachable manner a refreshing change, from Silva’s leave me alone and worship me from afar, approach.
In terms of the news from this interview, there wasn’t much, aside from the fact that he passionately wants to fight Roy Jones Jr. (“It’s my personal dream”) and that the only time he showed any interest in answering questions, particularly those that needed no translation, was concerning boxing and particularly fighting Roy Jones.
Other than that, Silva seemed completely bored. When asked questions about fighting Weidman or Jon Jones, his camp, anything that he’s doing new to prepare for the re-match or any self-criticisms he had of his loss to the champ, Silva would simply roll his eyes, smile and say “come on guys” or some version, thereof and that was it; nothing.
There was one interesting MMA note, however and again, it came as a result of answering a question about fighting Roy Jones, and that was regarding the question of what weight the bout would go off at. In answer, Silva said 80 kilos (176.36 pounds) or somewhere around 175 pounds. With that and unfortunately, no one asked about a fight with GSP at 175 pounds. The argument being that if Silva can hit 175 pounds for Jones Jr., why not do it for GSP? If he would, then surely Rush could be convinced to come up five pounds and give fans a match that’s been talked about for years.
The only other news emanating from the scrum was the fact that Silva believes Weidman got lucky in July and as such, Anderson sees no reason to augment his training or style.
Love him or hate him, he’s an amazing fighter and if you’d care to see what he’s been up to over the last few months, then there’s also a video of Silva training at Freddie Roach’s “Wild Card Boxing Club”; even in a boxing spar, he’s a joy to watch.
Interview courtesy of Rick Lee / Sparring video courtesy of Brian Rule (begins at the 3:45 mark of the video)