Anderson “The Spider” Silva is poised to take on what could be his biggest challenge yet in fellow Brazilian striking technician Vitor Belfort. The two will face off in the main event of tomorrow night’s UFC 126 fight card, and even though it could be argued that there is much at stake for “The Spider,” he doesn’t appear to be sweating it too much.
“I just checked my blood pressure, and everything is normal,” Silva said during the UFC 126 media conference call (props to Sherdog.com). “I’ve made a few adjustments, but I’ve been on pretty much the same track. I’ve been maintaining what I always do. It’s a very intense training camp. Of course, I’m always working to improve. I’ve kept the intensity throughout [my camp], and I’m going to go out there and do what I have trained to do.”
Silva is arguably the best fighter in the world, in any weight class; he has proven himself capable of competing at the highest level in both the middleweight and light heavyweight divisions and has mentioned on different occasions his willingness to fight both at welterweight and heavyweight. “The Spider’s” openness to take on all comers (within reason) is indicative of the confidence he has built over a lifetime of martial arts training.
“There are a lot of challenges in every weight category in the UFC, not just in the middleweight division,” Silva said. “I’m doing what I’m doing because I love doing it. I am well-trained. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I feel very natural.”
As he has alluded to several times throughout his career, Silva considers himself first and foremost a family man with great loyalty to his close friends, many of whom happen to be his training partners and coaches. In Silva’s mind, it is not the promise of glory and riches that spurs him onward, but his relationship with these people.
“I’m not doing this for the fame, the money or the belt. I’m doing it because I’m happy to have the people around me that I have,” he said. “I believe the people close to me are not close to me because of the fame or money. They are with me because they care about me, and that makes me happy to go put on a good performance.”
“The Spider” will take on former friend and training partner Vitor Belfort tomorrow night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Don’t forget to check out FightLine.com’s live coverage of the fight that Vitor Belfort thinks will make history.