Anderson Silva’s UFC 112 fight with Demian Maia has been examined more thoroughly than a murder scene. At this point just about everyone relevant in MMA has commented on the scrap; the only person we might like to hear more about this fight from is Anderson Silva himself. Likely due to the language barrier, Silva’s interviews with most English-speaking media outlets do not offer much insight into the fighter’s motivation and mindset. In an interview with Brazilian MMA news source Portal Do Vale Tudo, Silva revealed what he was saying to Maia in the Octagon and how he feels about the fight. The quotes you see are of the unedited translation of the interview as posted on the Portal Do Vale Tudo site.
“There was a moment just staring at the parade as a fight and said things like, ‘You did not say that spider has eight legs and was going to pick up one? Hurry up, get playboy.’ I called him a playboy, yes,” said Silva.
Apparently, in Brazil the term ‘playboy’ is considered offensive and is used to assert that someone is soft or spoiled. From what can be gleaned from MMA forums and other online sources, it seems as though the Silva-Maia fight has garnered quite a bit of attention in Brazil with many fans upset at Silva because of his behavior and comments. Silva seems to feel that a measure of bravado has its place in combat sports.
“Mike Tyson was also provocative and always has been criticized,” said Silva. “If all this had passed and I lost the fight, it would be worse. But I came home with the belt, without a pinch, a scratch, nothing. “[The] Spider” did what he always does: I went there, fought and won.”
In Silva’s early UFC fights he appeared to be the picture of humility. These days it seems that he has a bit of a chip on his shoulder, possibly because he is feeling the immense pressure that comes with being a world champion Mixed Martial Artist. What is certain is that he definitely wants the respect from his opponents that he feels he has earned.
“I can’t say that I lost my control,” said “The Spider.” “Serious, I wouldn’t do that again, or better, I would do that in a different way. I tried to show to the people, and especially for Demian, that I’m not there to have fun. I did not get there for free. I’m a four-time world champion.”
MMA is about entertainment just as much as it is about fighting. A little extra attitude goes a long way in promoting fights and making things more interesting in general. As long as Silva performs well in the cage and does not cross the line between pride and hubris with his antics he will leave his opponents with black eyes and not the sport of MMA.