Silva, Team Celebrate ‘Like Water’ Doc at Rio Film Festival

By Marcelo Alonso Oct 15, 2011
“Like Water,” a documentary based on Anderson Silva’s middleweight title fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, was finally released in Brazil this week, seven months after its premiere in New York City. The 74-minute film began its run at the Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival on Wednesday, drawing a sellout crowd and a standing ovation.

Silva, 36, attended the screening with his wife, Dayane, and their five children -- Kaory, Gabriel, Kalyl, Kauana and Joao Vitor -- as well as a cadre of his main training partners and friends: Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Erick Silva, Damaso Pereira, Roberto “Corvo” Amorim and Thiago “Jambo” Goncalves.

“I’m very satisfied and pleased with the result of the movie,” Silva told “It shows how Brazilian people are, shows that we don’t ever give up, that we’re determined and loyal. I’m sure everyone can identify with the movie.”

Rogerio Camoes, Silva’s strength and conditioning coach, was also thrilled with the finished product.

“It’s very exciting to see an MMA fighter as a hero in a movie,” Camoes enthused. “Not long ago, we were seeing MMA on the police pages, but nowadays, Anderson Silva makes Ford and Burger King commercials, and he’s on the big screen.”

The documentary began with the famous clip of Bruce Lee explaining that the success of his techniques comes from adapting them to each situation, like water. The next sequence brought shouts and applause from the partisan audience, as Silva was shown knocking out Chris Leben, Rich Franklin and Forrest Griffin.

Director Pablo Croce gave a glimpse of the champion as a family man with scenes from daily life at the Silva household in Rio, but also delved into Silva’s controversial performance against Demian Maia at UFC 112. Dana White’s outrage over the Silva-Maia bout shocked the crowd, as the UFC president appeared yelling and vowing that if Silva were to turn in such a performance again, there would be serious problems.

Then came the villain of the piece, Chael Sonnen.

“If you bow in Brazil, they’ll knock you out and steal your wallet,” Sonnen said in the film. “I don’t know why Anderson boasts himself as being a Nogueira black belt. One of them is a punching bag and the other one I just ignore. To me, being a black belt under the Nogueira brothers is like saying ‘I got a free toy in my Happy Meal.’”

Before their championship clash, Sonnen promised to beat Silva, while the Brazilian stayed on his side, not responding to anything. Depressed from being away from his family, and with ribs almost broken, Silva received the news that his aunt has died. Nonetheless, Silva entered the Octagon and submitted Sonnen after more than 23 minutes. “Like Water” concluded with an emotional testimony of Edith, the aunt who raised Silva and passed away during the film’s shooting.

After the screening, a clearly emotional Silva spoke with the Brazilian press and guaranteed that he would participate in some Hollywood movies after his retirement from MMA. Asked whom he would like to work with, Silva did not hesitate.

“I admire many actors, but I really would love to make something with Denzel Washington.”
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