UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva has been described as the best and most sensational fighter on the planet. This weekend, he will face possibly his toughest test yet as divisional ruler in fellow Brazilian Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort. Regardless of the weight and implications of the bout, Silva recently told Sherdog.com that he is approaching this bout as he would any other and the fearsome Belfort as though he were “just another opponent.”
“A fight is a fight. I’ll do my job, and the best man will win,” Silva said of his impending twelfth title defense. “We’re preparing to fight and this is another like the others. He’s just another opponent. He wants to fight for the title, so here we go!”
Silva and Belfort have been scheduled to fight twice before, but injuries incurred by both men cancelled those earlier bouts. Since they were announced to fight the first time, there has remained a palpable tension between the two, which many speculate has roots back to days they shared training in Brazil. Despite holding what appears to be obvious ill will towards Belfort, Silva has elected to remained mum in regards to their beef, opting instead to focus (at least outwardly) on more meaningful things.
“I’m training to fight. I don’t have much to say about Vitor. I’ll let people see what is or isn’t and what can happen during all of this,” he said. “My told me something before she died. She said that the important thing is to train, and that whether or not I succeed in life, my actions as a man, a friend and a son will be what defines me. I’m doing my job.”
Having experienced Stateside training for his most recent title defense against Chael Sonnen and finding it to be an inconvenience on many levels, “The Spider” has relocated his training camp for Belfort back to Brazil. He told Sherdog.com that he made the choice for convenience and to stay closer to his family.
“I feel better here, being closer to family and friends,” Silva said of training in Brazil. “It’s so quiet here. There, things are much harder and everything is too far away.”
Silva will attempt to break his own record of most successful title defenses in the UFC this Saturday night when he takes on Belfort in the main event of UFC 126 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com for our live, ongoing coverage of the fight card.