The last time Anderson Silva clowned around in the octagon, Chris Weidman dropped him on his back and took away his UFC middleweight title.
At UFC 162 last July, Silva (33-5) was pretending to be hurt when Weidman (10-0) actually cold-cocked him for a stunning victory. The result upended the MMA hierarchy, catapulting Long Island’s Weidman to stardom and ending Silva’s near seven-year title reign.
“Maybe I have the chance to change things,” Silva said at his gym in Torrance, Calif., this month.
Before the fight Silva commented on his non chalant fighting style answering critics, “When I go inside the ropes for a fight, I don’t joke,” said the fighter known for standing with hands on hips and chin protruding, daring opponents to hit him.
“I train hard mentally for this fight,” Silva added. “I watched the last fight, and I see my technique, and I talk to my friends and coach. I don’t train too much. My mental (approach), I change. It was bad.”
“Chris is the champion, and people need to respect that,” Silva said. “He’s a good man. Has a great family. He’s a great champion.”
Silva trained at his gym in an industrial corner of Torrance. Although tucked into a quiet office park behind a refinery next to auto body shops and a telescope manufacturer, Silva’s American home base can be spotted by the Bentley out front next to the big photos of himself.
After two years of training in his self-created American base, Silva clearly has a comfortable life. He could walk away from a victory at UFC 168 with his legacy secure and enough money to watch his children grow up in style.
Silva doesn’t appear to be thinking about retirement, repeatedly mentioning he has eight fights left on his UFC contract. Yet he also recognizes the dangers of his chosen sport when asked whether he would allow any of his children to follow his path into MMA.
“I don’t like the idea of my sons fighting,” Silva said. “It’s too much danger. I don’t have the heart for this. I’m an old man.”
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