Anderson “The Spider” Silva is one of the most iconic figures to ever compete in mixed martial arts (MMA), and many consider him to be the greatest fighter to ever grace the canvas. However, after reigning over the UFC’s middleweight division for nearly seven years, it seems as if “The Spider’s” career has taken a downward spiral ever since 2013.
Since 2013, Silva has been infamously knocked out in shocking fashion by current champion Chris Weidman at UFC 162. A rematch was immediately scheduled as many thought the first bout was a fluke, but things didn’t get any better for the Brazilian legend, as he suffered a gruesome leg injury at UFC 168.
He has since made a triumphant return, scoring a unanimous decision victory over Nick Diaz at January’s UFC 183, but his win and his reputation is now being overshadowed by a shocking failed drug test for Silva, which has now been deemed inconclusive as one test was positive, and one was negative.
It has been a rough couple of years for Silva, but the former middleweight king recently spoke up about his fights with Weidman with Citizens Of Humanity, going in depth on his career.
Starting off with the injury, “The Spider” admits that although he doesn’t remember much about his fights, he remembers that dark night in Las Vegas very clearly. Silva claimed that he recalls holding his leg, asking his manager “Why did God do this me?”, while thinking that his career was over:
“I don’t remember much about fights,” Silva says in retrospect. “It happens very fast. But this match, when I suffered the injury, I remember certain things perfectly.”
“I was preoccupied with holding my leg, but I held it in a lot of pain,” he remembers, “and my trainer, Rogério Camões, and Ed Soares, my manager, came. When they allowed my manager in, I still remember I said: ‘Boss, why did God allow this to happen to me? Why did God do this to me?’ In that moment, I thought it was all over. I was in a state of shock. I was worried about my family. I was worried about my leg, if I would walk again, train again, if I could fight again. A thousand things came to mind.”
Silva then moved on to the first fight, another shocking night in Las Vegas, where fans were stunned to see the dominant “Spider” lying unconscious on the canvas thanks to a Weidman hook. The Brazilian admitted that he lost that bout due to a lack of focus, and a lack of happiness with not only himself but the organization as well:
“I lost the first time due to lack of focus,” he says in retrospect, and the reasons for that lack of focus ran deep: “Because I was thinking of other things, because I was unhappy with myself within what I was doing in my sport and disappointed even with the organizers of fighting, and the downfalls of celebrity and fighting itself.”
Moving back to the rematch, “The Spider” proclaims that he was ready and a prepared, but that God sent him a signal, making him take a step back:
“The second fight, I was completely ready for,” he says. Then his leg broke, dramatically and severely. “God gave me a signal there: ‘Dude, you gotta stop. You have to stop. I gave you a sign; you didn’t understand…’ But more than that, it was about being able to see yourself, to see yourself, which is very hard, and realize, ‘Darn, I’ve been doing everything wrong.’ ”
Then the superstar truly opened up about how he was feeling, saying that some people don’t care when one’s injured, and that the system takes away the love of fighting from a fighter:
“People don’t care if you’re injured, if your head is in the right place,” he says. “They want you to make it happen; the show must go on, and it has to be real. But this isn’t real. For me, it was never real. The system takes away the truth from you, takes fighting away from you as something you love.”
Silva closed with his reign as champion, saying that of course he misses it at times, but he also played it off as if his life was on repeat: he went, he fought, he won, he repeated, and it seems as if after seven years, the dominant “Spider” couldn’t take it anymore:
“This thing, being a champion,” he says, “I can’t say that I don’t miss it sometimes… but when I started fighting, you just went there, fought, won if you won. Tomorrow it was all over, water under the bridge. All the victories I always had, the successful results I obtained, were always based on this: I go there, I fight, it’s over. I win, it’s over. I lift my arm, I go home. I lift my arm, it’s over. And then back to the start again.”
Well, Silva has made it clear that the glamor, and the fame of being a UFC champion, and a dominant one at that, isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Despite his recent drug test issues, will Silva ever return to championship form, or return it at all?