RIO DE JANEIRO — Anderson Silva reigned supreme as the UFC middleweight champion for almost seven years, but his MMA record since losing the title to Chris Weidman shows more losses than wins. In fact, he has only one win over the last seven bouts.
In his last appearance, Silva lost an entertaining decision to now-interim champion Israel Adesanya in February. His last seven bouts includes a win over Derek Brunson, a no contest with Nick Diaz, and defeats to Weidman, Michael Bisping, and Daniel Cormier.
Now booked to face Jared Cannonier at UFC 237 on May 11, “The Spider” spoke with reporters during a media day in Rio de Janeiro about whether or not putting on impressive performances and entertaining the crowd has become more important than actually winning fights.
”I think that wins and [putting on] shows are together,” Silva said. “If you’re 100 percent well, you can do both. Of course, we train three or four months to win, but, speaking about the Adesanya fight, even the one with DC, it was fights that in one I was coming off surgery, and on the other one I was two years sidelined and fighting someone younger, who had that experience and more timing that me at the time.”
Days after witnessing Adesanya claim the interim title with a thrilling win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 236, Silva said that Adesanya’s breakthrough shows that “The Spider” can still hang with the young generation.
”We considered ourselves victorious (in fights like Adesanya and Cormier) because of what you can see from that last fight,” said Silva, referring to Adesanya vs. Gastelum. “We’re not far from being on the same level of those kids. Congratulations to my coaches and my team, I owe it to them.”
Asked if Adesanya presented a challenge that brought back a lost motivation, Silva said it was never really gone.
”The Adesanya fight was one more fight, one more challenge for all coaches,” Silva said. “Motivation is to love what you do. I’m always motivated. I’m always training regardless of the problems and setbacks that exist in the sport. My great motivation is to be able to fight and do what I love.”
With “three or four” fights left in his deal with the UFC, Silva plans on completing his contract before considering retirement.
”I still have some fights in my contract,” Silva said, “so (Cannonier) is one more fight, one more challenge, one more training camp that we have many things to explore with all the coaches and rediscover ourselves, find new things that we didn’t imagine we could find in training, in physical preparation. I’m always learning more.
”Every fighter in the UFC always thinks about the title, of course,” he added. “I’ve had that experience of being with the title for 10 years, undefeated for nine years, so none of that is new. Everything that comes now, we absorb as knowledge. The goal is to be well, go there and do what I love, and always develop what we do in camp.”