The ‘Spider’ Speaks

By Gleidson Venga Nov 6, 2007 recently caught up with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to collect his thoughts on a second win over Rich Franklin (Pictures), the No. 1 pound-for-pound ranking and the future of the 185-pound division, which The Spider has undoubtedly claimed as his own.

Gleidson Venga: Were you expecting to dominate the fight that way?
Anderson Silva: I did what I trained to do. I was well prepared, and thank God my techniques were superior.

GV: But did you have any trouble compared to your first match?
AS: Always. Because there are no cans. Every fighter who steps in the Octagon is well trained, especially a high-class guy like Rich Franklin (Pictures).

GV: He seemed to be very worried when you were trying to clinch him and unleash your knees.
AS: Those are my strongest tools. This is what I train for everyday, and that was my strategy. That's it.

GV: In the last seconds of the first round, you seemed to knock him out, but the referee waited until the horn sounded. What do you think about that moment?
AS: I think if I had one more minute, I would have finished that fight. But things like this happen.

GV: And now are you enjoying your vacation in Brazil?
AS: I'm not on vacation. I'm wasting my time training in a gi with the guys from the Black House. Next Nov. 4, I'll return to Curitiba to see my family and then I'll go to the United States to continue my wrestling training at a university in L.A. I'll be there for 20 days and then I'll return to Brazil to train in the Black House gym.

GV: Has a date or an opponent been announced for your next fight?
AS: Not yet, but I'm training to face the better ones, and I'm waiting to know who it will be.

GV: The media are pointing to you as the best pound-for-pound fighter, better even than Fedor Emelianenko (Pictures). How do you feel about this?
AS: Media is media. You have to know your place in these situations. Because when you lose, you're finished; but when you win, you're the best. So you have to know how to keep things apart, but I'm mindful of this. I know if I won't train, I will lose. I know also if I train, there will be a guy who can beat me. So the deal is to keep training. To me this victory over Rich Franklin (Pictures) is in the past. I'll work to not commit the same errors I committed in my previous fights.

GV: You are probably the main superstar in Brazil. This is almost unanimous. What are you facing at this moment in your career?
AS: I'm trying to do my job well. I train to do these things people are seeing. There are no cocky things, no waste of time. I train every single movement I do in my fights. And I have to say thank you to all my fans, people who cheer for me. While I keep fighting, I'll keep training to do better so people will be proud of me.

GV: And how big is your fame in the United States?
AS: It's nice, very gratefully. But this is the point: You have to know how to keep things apart. I must be well prepared always.

GV: You fought in the 93-kilogram [205-pound] weight class in PRIDE a few years ago. Did you consider fighting in this weight class in the UFC?
AS: When I fought in PRIDE, there was no under 83-kilogram weight class, so I had to fight under 93 kilograms. UFC offered me to fight in this weight class [185 pounds], so I play there. Everybody has their own problems, and my problems are all under 83 kilograms. But if I have to fight against the light heavyweights, I'll do this. My regular weight is 97 kilograms; so to reach 93 will be easy for me.

GV: One of your biggest friends and supporters is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (Pictures). With Randy Couture (Pictures) leaving the UFC, there is a big chance he'll have a title shot. What are you expecting?
AS: I'm expecting him to win that belt. He is working for this. We are looking forward to it, and our goal is for him to get this title. But he has a good mind. He knows it won't be easy; he has to train hard. But we are all helping him because we know he deserves this title.
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