UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva can certainly be adversarial at times (see: Silva vs. Maia, the weigh-ins for Silva vs. Belfort), though he rarely does so verbally. The dominant Brazilian champion usually opts to remain quiet until the fight starts, when he does his real talking.
“The Spider” broke that pattern of behavior recently when discussing upcoming opponent Yushin Okami’s continued training with controversial middleweight Chael Sonnen with Brazilian newspaper O Globo (props to Sherdog.com for the translation). Sonnen and Silva met to dispute Silva’s title last August at UFC 117; during the pre-fight build up, Sonnen let loose with a barrage of trash talk that has set the precedent for such in MMA.
Fighting with injured ribs, Silva outlasted a four-round assault by Sonnen only to come back in the last frame and submit the Oregonian with a triangle choke. Following the bout, Sonnen tested positive for synthetic testosterone — this and his questionable testimony leading to the current fracas between himself and the California and Nevada State Athletic Commissions — not to mention the fact that he recently plead guilty to money laundering in a mortgage fraud case.
Now set to face Okami — whom he technically lost to in 2006 after knocking the Japanese fighter unconscious with an illegal up-kick — later this summer at UFC 134, Silva sent “Thunder” some words of warning in regards to choosing his training partners.
“You have to find the best people to train with, and I think [Okami] chose wrong,” Silva said. “I’d never align myself with a loser, a loser in every sense. He didn’t win the fight [between us] and got caught doping. You want to be a champion? Get with good people, with winners. Moreover, Sonnen wasn’t a tough opponent for me. I was injured with cracked ribs and fought five rounds. If I hadn’t been injured, the fight would have been different.”
Silva and Okami will meet in the main event of UFC 134, which is set to go down on August 27 at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.