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Thiago Silva won't discuss Ramzan Kadyrov's controversies, focuses on Glory debut

Thiago Silva Photos
Thiago Silva makes his Glory debut in New York.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The involvement of Ramzan Kadyrov, the leader of the Russian republic of Chechnya, with professional fighters became a controversial topic in the MMA world after his remarks against homosexuals, but some fighters don’t link both worlds.

UFC veteran Thiago Silva, who scored a second-round knockout win under the ACB banner in Austria earlier this month, and is scheduled to make his kickboxing debut against John King at Friday’s Glory 48 in New York, has ties with Kadyrov’s fighting promotion Akhmat Fight Show, and frequently travels to Chechnya to train.

“The Chechnya people are amazing, they always welcome me greatly there,” Silva told MMA Fighting. “Mike (Passenier) is my coach, I represent his team, but I always go to Chechnya to train whenever I can. I stay there for three or four weeks to train. I have friends all over the world, so I’m always welcomed there.”

When asked about the stunning reports of kidnapping, torturing and murder of gay men in the region, the Brazilian says he wouldn’t touch the topic.

"I don’t talk about this,” Silva said. “That's their problem. I don’t respond [to questions] about it."

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What Silva is willing to talk about is his upcoming Glory debut, which takes place two weeks after his most recent MMA bout.

“The date of my last MMA fight was postponed twice,” he said. “I should have fought weeks before, but ended with this two-week window. But it’s all good, I don’t have any injuries, everything went right in my fight.

“It doesn’t matter to me, man. I’ve been fighting for a long time, so I just want to get inside a ring or a cage to have fun."

Silva says he makes eight times more in MMA than he’s about to get paid in his kickboxing debut, but competing in a different sport is about having fun. In fact, boxing could be the next sport the 35-year-old veteran is considering competing at.

John King, Silva’s opponent at Glory 48, has a 5-5 record in MMA, which includes a 2016 fight in Bellator, and is also making his Glory debut.

“I've seen two videos of his kickboxing fights,” Silva said, “but I’ve been through so many things in my career that it doesn’t make any difference who I’m fighting. I will never underestimate my opponents. I’ve done that before and paid the price, so I always see everyone as a tough fight.”

Silva has a one-fight deal with Glory, and is currently negotiating a new contract with ACB after his last one expired. As of what the future holds for him, the 12-fight UFC veteran jut wants to have fun and get paid.

“I really don’t care,” Silva said when asked if a return to the UFC is a possibility. “If the UFC wanted me again… Who wouldn’t want to fight in the UFC? But I don’t think about it. I travel around the world to fight. I just want to compete and have fun.”

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