Anderson Silva for DXL Magazine
Below is just an interview I found online that The Spider did for DXL Magazine. I hope you enjoy.
Growing up did you always know that you wanted to be a fighter, or did you have other plans for a career?
Where I grew up, most people were policemen. So naturally, I also wanted to be a policeman.
What made you decide to start training in MMA?
It just happened; I didnít plan to start training MMA. I guess it was just the natural evolution of things for me. It started with Tae Kwon Do and progressed through many other disciplines, ending up with MMA.
Why do you think so many great fighters come out of Brazil?
There is a lot of history behind Brazilian fighters and off course a lot of hard work and determination involved. Also, having the Gracie family behind everything shows that we have a lot of tradition in fighting.
You made your MMA debut in the Mecca Organization in Brazil against Luiz Azeredo. That fight didn't go as planned for you, but what did you learn from losing your first fight?
All I can say is that you are never the best.
After that you went on to win nine straight fights, splitting your time between Mecca and Shooto in Japan where you faced an undefeated Hayato Sakurai for the Shooto middleweight belt. That's a pretty big accomplishment for somebody who had only been fighting professionally for a little over a year. What prepared you for that moment and that fight? What was your mentality going into that fight?
I was very well trained and I had a great team behind me. I was focused on my objective which was beating Hayato Sakurai. He had beaten all the other Brazilians he had fought and had a perfect record in Shooto. My objective was to win the fight. I was focused and I was able to win. I personally think it was one of the best fights of my life.
What made you decide to leave Chute Boxing for the Muay Thai Dream Team?
Muay Thai Dream Team came about after a group of people had left Chute Boxe to go their own ways. We all got together and a friend of mine gave this new team the name Muay Thai Dream Team. The name was kept for some time until it was changed to what it is currently, Killer Bees.
And then why did you decide to join Black House?
It was a request from Jorge ďJoinhaĒ Guimaraes. Lyoto Machida, Vitor Belfort, the Nogueira brothers and I were all training together at Black House when we could, so we decided to be part of the team. Unfortunately Black House didnít work out, even though I think it was one of the best teams. But it was a good experience for me. Today I still have my Killer Bees school and I am part of Team Nogueira.
You received your BJJ black belt through the Noguerra's in 2006. How long did it take you to get that belt?
It took me many years. Iíve been training Jiu-Jitsu since 1999, so it took me a while. I had classes with Sonequinha from Barra Gracie, Penao from Carlson Gracie. Afterwards, my friendship with the Nogueira brothers was helpful for my skills; they gave me a lot of support and taught me a lot. There are a lot of people involved in my Jiu-Jitsu knowledge, but Iím still not one of the best.
Do you feel an extra sense of responsibility now that you are a black belt?
I think I have more responsibility as a black belt. Being a black belt from the Nogueira brothers, I have the obligation to always defend myself well on the ground. Now Iíve been training with Sylvio Behring who has a lot of knowledge and has helped me improve my skills for the past two years.
What is the rivalry like between other teams in Brazil like Chute Boxe?
I donít think there is rivalry between the teams in Brazil. We each do our jobs, and we each have our part in MMA.
What does having a solid team mean for a fighter?
We are more like a family. The Nogueira brothers, Rafael Feijao, Sylvio Behring, Daniel Valverde, Daniel Woirin, Luiz Alves, Amaury Bitetti, Josuel Distak, Rogerio Camoes, Giorge, Dan Dan, Madson, Dorea, Kelson and I are more than a team - we are there for each other for anything.
Can you paint a picture of what fighting in Brazil is like for Mecca? How is it different from Japan or the UFC?
Fighting in Brazil is cool, even though I havenít fought here in a long time. The people really enjoy it, even though there is not really any national support for Vale Tudo. I would be very happy to fight for the UFC in Brazil someday.
How would you describe you years in Pride?
Good, but thatís in the past.
One of your losses in Pride was to Daiju Takase, who had a pretty average record going into the fight (4-7). Did you take him lightly or was he just under rated. What happened in that fight?
I didnít underestimate him, he made a move that I wasnít expecting and it landed. It was actually right on my injured ankle - I had all the tendons ripped in my ankle. I will never fight with an injury again. Takase should get credit for that fight; he dug up an old move that no one expected. He was like a magician.
How would you describe your time in England's Cage Rage?
Very good. I thank Andy Geer and the rest of the organization for believing in me and taking chances. I really liked fighting there, and I believe it had a lot to do with my move to the UFC after I had some important fights for Cage Rage.
Your loss to Ryo Chonan via a flying scissor takedown into a heel hook might be one of the more spectacular finishes I've seen. You were winning that fight up until that point. Did that move surprise you as much as it did me?
No, he just threw a move that caught me.
Are those losses ones you'd like to avenge?
My losses and my victories are in the past. I think of the future. After a fight is over, itís in the past. I always have to go back to the gym and train to improve in all areas, winning or losing I think I can always do better next time.
In April 2006 you signed with the UFC. What attracted you to the UFC?
I was always a big fan of the UFC, and I think that being part of it is just the natural course of my career. Itís my job.
You've been the UFC champ for going on two years now and you've pretty much cleaned out the division. Who is there out there that you would like to face?
I train to face anyone the UFC puts me up against.
You made a pretty spectacular debut at Ultimate Fight Night 5 knocking out fan favorite Chris Leben who was known for having a good chin. The fight lasted just 49 seconds. I assume that was the type of debut you wanted but did you think it would be so easy?
It was not an easy fight.
Your next fight was a title shot against then champion Rich Franklin who you dominated once again. What was your game plan going into the fight with then Champion Rich Franklin?
I used the same game plan as always.
The only other person to beat Franklin is your team mate Lyota Machida. Did he give you any advice before the fight?
Lyoto and I trained together a few times before that fight and he helped me out.
Describe your feeling - your emotions - after winning the UFC title.
I felt like I had more responsibility on my back. Being the champion is serious. It was a dream of mine to have the UFC belt.
How long had it been your dream to win the UFC Belt? Being from Brazil, which belt represented the highest achievement in MMA. Which one did you want most?
All of my belts are very important to me, the UFC, Pride, Cage Rage, Shooto belts are like my great trophies. They tell my story and show my hard work. I am the only fighter who has all of these belts.
Your next fight was against The Ultimate Fighter 4 winner Travis Lutter who failed to make weight for the fight. Did his not making weight anger or offend you? Or was it business as usual.
I went into that fight to do my job the same way. For me that fight was still for the belt.
After that you defeated Nate Marquart again in the first round and then it was back to a rematch with Franklin. Had you started to feel any pressure by being the champ yet at this point?
Next you fought Pride champ Dan Henderson which would be a unification fight. Did the Pride belt hold the same meaning to you as it would have if you won it when Pride was still alive?
Of course. To tell you the truth the Pride belt was mine, the opportunity to fight for it was just taken away from me, so it was just a matter of time until I would somehow fight for it.
You seemed to give Franklin a lot more respect for being the UFC Champ than you did Dan Henderson for being the Pride champ. Why was that?
There was never that. I respect all my opponents for giving me a chance to fight them. Rich Franklin is the reason why I am the champion. If he had denied fighting me the first time, he would have taken my opportunity to fight for the title. Dan Henderson has a great history in MMA, I really liked fighting him.
You're undefeated in the UFC and each fight hasn't gone past the 2nd round. Is there anybody in MMA that you want to fight?
If they could clone me, that would be an interesting fight.
What about the rumors of you fighting GSP? Is that something you would be interested in?
I donít know? If it has to happen it will.
Your fight against James Irvin at Light Heavyweight went extremely well. Can you see yourself moving up a weight class again to fight a Rampage, Chuck or Forrest?
I train to fight the best in the world, so if thatís what the UFC needs.
Paulao Filho is the WEC champ and also a good friend of yours. That is a fight that fans would like to see happen. Would you consider fighting him?
Out of the question, weíre teammates, we have an honor code.
How is Filho since going into rehab?
Paulao is doing well. He is very well trained for his upcoming fight. Heís strong and well prepared.
You've expressed your desire to fight Roy Jones Jr. but Dana has said no to that. Do you think Dana will come around? Does that fight have a chance of happening?
Itís a personal wish of mine. It doesnít really matter the opponent, itís a dream of mine to do an international boxing fight in America. Weíll see what happens. Right now I focus on the UFC and MMA, maybe in the future itíll happen, who knows.
You hold wins over a lot of big names including Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Lee Murray, Jeramy Horn, Carlos Newton and Hayoto Sakurai. Who was your toughest opponent?
You seem to just keep getting better and better with each fight. What are the areas you feel you could improve on?
I have a lot to improve in every area, I just have to train.
Your strikes are very accurate. More so than most fighters. What would you say the reason for that is?
Iíve been doing this since I was a kid.
Whatís the best way to finish a fight? If you could plan your highlight realÖ
The best way to end a fight is to go home in one piece.
I've heard that before fights you are very relaxed, relaxed to the point where you even sleep in the dressing room before fight. Is this true?! And if so, how are you able to stay so calm?
Iím just very concentrated at that point, and yes sometimes I fell asleep.
Being the champ, are you feeling any pressure to speak English?
Not too much pressure, I try to communicate with my fans, and I have been studying and trying hard. I need to learn.
I know you're a big fan of MJ. What happened to your old Michael Jackson ring entrance and dance moves in the ring?
Iím a big fan of MJ. It was all a joke that was well received. Maybe in the near future weíll see it again.
What does Anderson Silva do when he's not training, fighting or dancing to Michael Jackson?
I spend time at home with my family and I play video games.