There are varying opinions on Anderson Silva’s steroid controversy heading into “The Spider’s” return against Israel Adesanya at tomorrow’s (Sat., February 9, 2019) UFC 234 from Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
Some, like UFC President Dana White, feel that the legend has done what was needed to clear his name. White believes Silva is still a clear Hall of Famer after he retires.
But others believe Silva’s sordid past with PEDs in the past four years has indeed put a shroud over his otherwise historic legacy. Not surprisingly, Adesanya’s coach Eugene Bareman is among them. He recently told Submission Radio (via MMA Fighting) that ‘The Spider’ was the ‘Lance Armstrong of MMA.’ He claimed to hold a grudge and want nothing to do with the star:
“He’s the Lance Armstrong of MMA. For me, he cheated. And I’m a very stand up guy. MMA fans, for one or another reasons, they’re not the same as cycling fans. MMA fans forget quickly when someone cheats. But I’m not like that. If you do something wrong and it’s proven and factual, then I hold that against him about it. I don’t hold it against you like I wanna beat you up, I just want nothing to do with you.”
Used In Training
Possessing obvious similarities to the former champion, ‘The Last Stylebender’ has called Silva the reason he got into MMA. Bareman isn’t so sure that’s who his student should be looking up to, however. He admitted to using that in training to make sure Adesanya wasn’t starstruck by fighting his onetime hero:
“Truth be told, I’ve used my position to try and help break down any possible hangovers he has with fighting someone who’s his idol,” Bareman said. “I said, ‘Well, I don’t know about him, why should he be your idol? He cheated.’ I’ve intentionally used that. That’s just the way I feel. And he might not have needed it, to be honest. He’s got a very powerful mindset himself, so he might not have needed it but if there was that one percent of doubt and stuff that was creeping into him, then I made sure that I needed to eliminate anything through the use of that.
“It was maybe a little cunning or whatever, but that’s just how I feel. And he’s perfectly right, he lulls you. Anderson lulls you, but make no mistake, he is ruthless. He will do anything it takes to win. Anything. He will go to extreme measures to win.”
Nowhere For GOAT
As of right now, Silva’s spot in the ongoing debate for MMA’s GOAT seems to be wholly uncertain. Many feel he’s up there with the greatest of all-time, and many others feel his career is tarnished. As expected, Bareman is among the latter. The coach put Silva in the same ranking spot as Armstrong is in his sport – not ranked:
“He sits nowhere, as far as I’m concerned,” said Bareman. “He sits the same place as Lance Armstrong sits, but it’s a different sport, different community. I completely dismiss him. I find it – I think weird is the best way to describe it – I find it weird that people talk of him in that manner.
“You can’t cheat in this sport, or else it brings everything you did into complete disrepute, like Lance Armstrong. How are two people who are basically guilty of the same thing treated so differently in the sporting