UFC middleweight champion, Anderson Silva suffered for the first time on the American octagon. After being pounded for four rounds, the Brazilian managed to fit a triangle out of nowhere and submitted Sonnen, keeping himself on the top of the division. Before coming back to Brazil, Anderson talked to TATAME and analyzed his fight, complimented Sonnen’s performance, revealed he had promised a submission to Rodrigo Minotauro and criticized the jokes about Steven Seagal.
What did you think of your win over Chael Sonnen?
Well, there’s not much to talk about. It’s over and now I have to think about my next bout. It was a good fight, it was different than we all expected. Everybody is used to see Anderson winning every time he fights, without being at risk in any time, but it was good, that made me stronger. We trained a lot, we trained different situations and, thanks God, everything we’ve been working on the trainings work out just fine during the fight. This time, Jiu-Jitsu was my priority and thanks Gods it worked out. We have to thank everybody that helped me train, to my coaches and God.
Many people did not expect things would go this way… What did you expected?
Oh, I had some trouble on moving because I had my rib injured. I hurt my rib three weeks before the fight, broke it with (Satoshi) Ishii, a friend of Lyoto (Machida) that came from Japan to train with us and I was training with him and, due to a move I did, I got it injured. I went to the doctor and he said I should not fight because it was not that serious at that time, but things could get worse during the fight, but thanks God, it worked out. I believe that everything we’ve planned to this fight turned out true.
He’s a guy who likes to take his opponents down and work on the ground and pound, punching mainly the ribs. Do you think this game plan that he has made it harder for you, due to your rib’s injury?
That made it a little harder, because I couldn’t move as fast as I usually do… But he’s to be congratulated, he did a great fight… It was a huge fight. I believe that for the both of us it was very nice and it was a good fight for people to what.
On the fifth round you slipped and he dominated you again, as he had done in all four previous rounds. At any moment did you thought it was it, since he managed to use quite well his ground and pound came during the previous 20 minutes?
No. actually, I had some good opportunities while standing, but I couldn’t use them as I wish because I was injured. We trained a lot the movements of the stand-up game, with the coaches standing, but I only hit him few times. On the ground, I believe everything worked out just fine… I wanted to thank Rodrigo (Minotauro), Rogério (Minotouro), (Rafael) Feijão, André Galvão, (Ronaldo) Jacaré, Ramon (Lemos) and all the guys that helped us. We always have to rethink about our concepts about things so we can know what we can improve and what we can’t and I’m always trying to get better on what I have more difficulties, which is the ground game and that was something which helped me a lot so I could bring this win home. You have to train, keep training and move on.
Do you think this was the biggest fight of your life?
No. I can tell you that my fight is my last one, it’s always the last one I did. This was a hard one, just like all others, like the ones that will still come. One day, when I have fought for the last time in my career, you can ask me and I’ll tell you which one was the hardest.
During the fight, the fans joked, via Twitter, saying that Steven Seagal was some kind of MMA’s Mick Jagger …
It’s a bad joke, he’s a great master and a great coach who was there with me, helped me all the time a lot. On the beginning of my trainings, we showed me some techniques which worked out and he deserves the respect of all of us. He’s a great master and a good person. I believe people have to respect him.
Your win seemed like a Hollywood movie, on which he “hero” suffers for most of the time and win in the end…
Yeah, man. Actually, it all happened as it should do, but the biggest prompter of all this is God, he’s the biggest responsible for all of it, I’m just his instrument. This fight was good not for the fight’s world, but to people in general. We should never give up on our dreams, we should never give up on our goals. I believe it was a lesson to those who’s been fighting, but also for everyone that was there, for those who had a hard time and are almost giving up on something. I believe it was a great message and the real purpose of the sport. I played God’s servant in there to show this to people, to encourage them not to give up, to never give up, to always believe and make things happen.
This time the event has been broadcasted to Brazil on the channel SporTV. How do you feel, being one of the main characters of this new movement of MMA in Brazil, when MMA was watched but a remarkable number of people and also has commented in different kinds of media which did not give the sport some space before?
I’m very happy. It’s like I said: I believe that, if it happened, it was a good thing for people to get to know it better. Saying like this, it seems that I’m making some kind of propaganda to the Church of some religion, but that’s not it… It’s just like I feel it, I think that the overcoming process, that thing of being a Brazilian and being there and I said it in some interviews before, on which they’ve asked me what I thought about Sonnen’s comments about Rodrigo and all… I can say and I’d like that you published it on the magazine so that everyone can read it: he spoke about the wrong person. He could have said anything about anyone, but he chose the wrong guy to talk about, in any matter. He talked about people he couldn’t have. I entered there wearing a kimono in a tribute to Rodrigo and, before the fight, I told him: “Rodrigo, I’ll get this guy because it’s a matter of honor to me, as your black-belt, to catch this guy”. Thanks God, I went there and caught him.
Everything went right and I believe that Jiu-Jitsu’s community is to be congratulated, Jiu-Jitsu saved me and that’s what I train the most, I always train with the gi, my student help me a lot, like Ramon from Atos, who also is to be congratulated and all the athletes who helped me. I think it’s very great the Jiu-Jitsu that we, Brazilians, have, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is a part of all of us and I’d also like to thank all the black belts who made history inside MMA and on our sport, because this we can call ours and I feel honored of being a black belt on a martial art which is as efficient as any other, both standing and on the ground. I’m a black belt on Muay Thai, but I also hold a black belt of Jiu-Jitsu and, on Saturday, what moved me and gave me the strength to win was all I’ve learned from Jiu-Jitsu in all those years, during all this time.
What is the next step: a rematch with Sonnen, a fight with Vitor Belfort or taking care of your rib?
The first thing I’ll do is to heal my rib, take care of myself and see how things work. DanDan is a student of mine who will fight next weekend, so I’ll help him and also Mário (Miranda), who will fight on the next UFC’s edition, so let’s move on. Let’s take care of this injury and, when I’m ready to comeback, I’ll come back to give the Brazilians and all fans of MMA more happiness.
Mário has been helping you a lot on your trainings. How do you think this fight between him and Demian Maia will be like?
It’s a tough fight, it’s complicated… Demian is Brazilian, so does he. We always want the Brazilians to win, but Mário is my training partner, we trained together and we’ll try to help him in everything we can so that he can win this fight. Independently of its result, both will be prepared. I believe that Demian will be prepared and so will Mário and I hope it’s a good fight and I hope that the best wins. Whoever is better trained should win and we’ll do our best so that Mário can impose his own rhythm, but I want the best to win, and that’s what’s the most important thing.
Do you want to leave a message for your fans who stayed up all night cheering for you, until you fit that triangle and saved the night?
A triangle and an arm bar, Minotauro style (laughs). Well, first of all I’d like to thank God. He’s the best, He’s a supreme being, there’s no other way… I’d like to thank all the people that cheers for me, and also the ones that make constructive critics so I can improve… I’m getting better each time, but I’m a human being just like anybody else. I make some mistakes, I make some things right, I’m evolving… I think that, once again, what I could show people is how I am, who I am, where I came from and that’s it. I’d like to thank all of you, you guys from the magazine, you that try to get what we really think and say it to people clearly so that they can understand us a little better. Let’s go… Brazil on my head and heart.