Photo Erik Engelhart
Anderson Silva stood before Chael Sonnen this Tuesday (24th), during the promotional press conference for UFC 148, scheduled for July 7th, in Las Vegas. The middleweight champion, who had to hear all his opponent’s provocations, talked afterwards with the reporters. UFC star, Anderson talked about MMA growth in Brazil, commented about the plans of opening a gym in Rio, the transfer of date and place and, of course, Chael Sonnen. Check it below:
How you put up with Sonnen saying all this crap?
(laughs) There’s not much to be said. Chael Sonnen talks alone.
Do you believe you’ll be able to revenge all Brazilians, since he’s a Brazilian enemy?
I guess a fight is a fight. Anything can happen. It’s good to make it clear for the Brazilian fans, the Brazilian people and mainly for you reporters: we can’t pay much attention to guys like him. When we leave our country we respect all other countries and places, we’re respected in England, Korea, Japan… In all the places I’ve been to, I’ve been respected exactly because we respect others. People will have to learn how to respect us one way or another.
This Silva vs. Sonnen rivalry would be comparable to Alain Prost VS. Ayrton Senna?
Well, it’s like comparing Maradona to Pele. There’s no comparison. Of course Chael is a great athlete and that’s why he’s in the UFC, but I have heart. We’re the bests, there’s no other way. Prost was left behind, frustrated he couldn’t beat Ayrton Senna.
What is different about Anderson who defeated Sonnen and present Anderson?
You have you have your mind like a parachute: always opened. Everything changes. Things change each time we fight. New things come up, you go through different things.
When you entered the press conference there were no provocations. Is that just a game between the two of you?
No. I didn’t see him. It’s not a game. I don’t like him. He disrespected my country, my family, so there’s nothing like it.
How did you react when heard it would no longer be a bout in Brazilian territory?
It’s disappointing. The current company responsible for making it happened wasn’t capable enough. Dana came to Brazil three times to make it happen. They tried Sao Paulo, they tried many places but they were not competent enough. To me it doesn’t change much, I’m fighting anyway. I’m sad because I would like to fight in Brazil, before my fans. It would be a great show, but there’s also Vitor and Wanderlei. I hope you can watch it because they’re great athletes and it’s going to be a great show.
Would you be more confident in case it was in Brazil?
I’m very focused. Human being, like all beings, makes mistakes, has flaws, and sometimes I say things I shouldn’t say. I’m doing my job. Independently if I win or not, I’ll pour my heart out, like I’ve been doing and I’ll bring this win to you.
How do you see the evolution of the sport in Brazil?
It’s cool. We reached a certain level on which people are beginning to understand the sport better and we know have a new modality. Now people go to gym to train MMA. That’s the evolution of the sport. I’m glad to be a parto f this along with Pedro Rizzo, Rodrigo Nogueira and all those great guys.
You have a gym in Sao Paulo, in Corinthians head-quarters. Do you plan something for Rio?
Of course. We already have Team Nogueira, team I train at and we also have a great job being done at X-Gym, which is my coaches’, Rogerio Camoes e (Josuel) Distak. They do an excellent work down there, the guys are evolving more and more. Our goal is not only to build strong fighters but to build good citizens and that’s what we’re doing