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Fabio Maldonado squashes beef with Anderson Silva at UFC 179

Inovafoto, UFC

RIO DE JANEIRO -- Fabio Maldonado returned to the win column at UFC 179, and it was a perfect night for the Brazilian brawler.

Maldonado, who finished Hans Stringer via TKO in the second round at Maracanazinho gymnasium on Saturday night’s pay-per-view card, squashed an old beef with former teammate Anderson Silva.

"He was yelling instructions during the fight," Maldonado told the media after the fight. "When I swept Stringer and I saw Anderson in front of me, I thought ‘cool, even the champion is rooting for me.’"

In 2013, Maldonado criticized Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for not allowing him to open a Team Nogueria gym in his hometown, and Anderson Silva for using all the structure at X-Gym and Team Nogueira and not paying coaches a percentage of his fight purse, like fighters usually do.

When Maldonado finished Stringer, Silva crawled the fence to celebrate.

"He came close to the fence to celebrate and I said ‘come on, jump here,’ and I asked for apologies for not saying directly to him what I wanted to say instead of talking to the media about it," Maldonado said. "I had my bad days, and I talk too much. I told him I was happy to see him and his family, and he said we’re good, so I kissed his bald head.

"I had my problems with him, but it was a mistake to bring it to the media," he added. "I’m 34 now, so I’m more careful with what I tell the media. Nobody is perfect."

Maldonado improved to 4-0 in the light heavyweight division since May 2013. His last loss, earlier this year, came in a short notice heavyweight clash with Stipe Miocic in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

"I haven’t knocked out anyone since 2010. I was feeling like a virgin again," Maldonado said with a laugh. "Hans is a great fighter, has more wins and finishes than me, but I know how to use my energy better. Like (Gian) Villante, he came to try to hold me on the ground."

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