In Anderson Silva's first seven fights in the UFC, he so thoroughly dominated his opponents -- including great fighters like former UFC champ Rich Franklin and former Pride champ Dan Henderson -- that no one even made it past the second round with him. But Silva's eighth fight in the Octagon went a little differently.
At UFC 90, Silva toyed with Patrick Cote in the first and second round and then won by TKO in the third when Cote injured his knee without Silva touching him. That weird result had a lot of people thinking Silva wasn't motivated, but Silva insists that's not the case.
"On the contrary to what people think, I was very, very motivated for the Patrick Cote fight," Silva said Monday on a call to promote his UFC 97 fight with Thales Leites on April 18. "My motivation is to be one of the best mixed martial arts fighters of all time. Everyone is always mentioning that I'm the best pound-for-pound, one of the best fighters in the world, and having that kind of label on me makes me very motivated. So I plan to come out here and show the world everything I've trained to do in the fight. That's what keeps me motivated to go out there and put on great performances. "
Although I came away unimpressed with Silva's showing against Cote, I believe Silva when he says that he remains motivated to be the best MMA fighter in the world. And I think that's bad news for Leites.
Silva also said the way he feels before his fights hasn't changed since the very first time he fought, in 2000.
"My mindset when I'm getting into a fight is the same it's been since my first fight, which is for me to walk out of the ring or the Octagon the same way I walked in, so that I can go back to my family in one piece," Silva said. "Whether I win or lose, whether it's for the belt or not, the focus is for me to walk out of the ring or Octagon the same way I walked in and for me to go home to my family the same way I left them."