At today’s media conference call, Anderson Silva seemed stoic regarding his UFC 134 showdown with Yushin Okami. Despite being before his home country of Brazil, the UFC Middleweight Champion insisted the event was business as usual.
“I don’t have pressure. Okami is a good fight,” said Anderson. “This is a great opportunity for me [and] for Okami. This is a great opportunity for Brazil. I’m very happy, very excited. The pressure? I don’t have pressure. I train for a long time. I train for the best guys and fight the best guys in the world. I don’t have pressure.”
This fight represents a kaleidoscope of compelling dynamics to the pound-for-pound great. Not only is he hoping to avenge the last defeat on his record, but Anderson is also effectively polishing off the division with a win over the Japanese middleweight. Furthermore, despite some outlets dismissing Okami, already looking forward to potential rematches with Vitor Belfort or Chael Sonnen, the champion is treating ‘Thunder’ like anyone else challenging for the title.
“After the fight, I will go back to training. Vitor. Okami. Chael Sonnen. Dana will decide who is next.”
In the event the champion retains his title, he is in a position similar but not altogether like that of UFC Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre. He will be revving up for rematches within his division, but unlike the champion at 170 pounds, there are not many potential fights coming from outside the promotion at his weight.
The world has wanted to see Silva fight the 205-pound champion since friend and training partner Lyoto Machida captured the gold in 2009. Then were whispers about a fight with then-champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua, and the spotlight now lands on current Silva possibly facing UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.
Despite the happenings of the next year, Anderson will focus on the immediate future, when he faces Yushin ‘Thunder’ Okami at UFC 134 in his native Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in a fight for the UFC Middleweight Championship.