UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva will be fighting in his home country of Brazil for the first time since 2003 when he meets Yushin Okami this Saturday at UFC 134.
UFC 134 takes place from the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will be available live on pay-per-view.
Silva (30-4) has defended his UFC gold against all comers since taking the title from Rich Franklin in 2006. In fact, his last loss was by disqualification to Okami in Hawaii earlier in that year.
“I train for the best guys in the world, the best fighters,” Silva said during a recent press conference. “I think they’re the best teams. I’m ready; I’m very excited for this fight, I don’t know, Okami is a good fighter, but a fight is a fight. Maybe I’ll win, maybe Okami win. I don’t know, but I promise I go for the fight, and work hard in the fight.”
Silva has taken some verbal shots at Okami, both for the way the fighter celebrated his DQ win and for his choice in training partners.
Okami (26-5) has been working with Chael Sonnen in his training camp. Sonnen fought Silva in an incredible match last year, holding the lead on all the judges scorecards before “The Spider” caught him with a choke from the ground and scored the win.
Sonnen was very outspoken before the fight in downgrading Silva and his fellow Brazilian fighters, and has continued to take plenty of shots at both.
For Silva, though, this fight is all about competing for his country and his fans.
“It’s been big for a long time,” Silva said about MMA in Brazil. “This time I’m in Brazil with all the (guys) watching me and the guys (on my team) are an inspiration. I’m happy that the UFC is coming to Rio. All the fights are great, the fighters are here to fight, which is great for me. It’s a great opportunity. It’s a new opportunity for new fighters. I’m happy.
In Brazil all the people are tough. They’re very excited. The people talk to me, ‘Hey, Anderson (I’m going to) your fight. Hey, you ready?’ Yes, I’m ready. I’m happy. I’m very, very excited. The people in Brazil are very excited.”
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