UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is one of the most popular mixed martial arts fighters in the world today, and he’s certainly one of his native Brazil’s biggest stars.
That doesn’t mean every Brazilian thinks highly of Silva (33-4-0, 20 KOs) as MMA’s royal family member, Renzo Gracie, made it clear he isn’t a fan of “The Spider” during a recent interview.
“Anderson is a guy that rubs many people the wrong way,” Renzo explained. “He’s not a humble guy. Even though he may speak humbly when he talks, when he’s in the ring he doesn’t act humble. He puts down his opponents. He acts in a way that again… we always know what is right and wrong, and by looking at that [Silva’s antics inside the Octagon], we know it’s wrong. It’s like you can beat your opponent, but do it with respect.”
Renzo works with Silva’s upcoming opponent Chris Weidman, so it’s not that surprising he has some negative things to say about Anderson a little over a week away from their UFC 162 headliner set for July 6, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev.
However, his opinion that Silva is arrogant simply isn’t true.
Besides, Renzo spat on his opponent, Shungo Oyama, at Pride 21 back in 2002, so he isn’t exactly a shining example of how MMA fighters should carry themselves inside the cage.
Despite his vicious finishes inside the Octagon, Silva is one of the most mild-mannered mixed martial artists outside the cage. He rarely has anything bad to say about his opponents prior to his bouts, and in true Muay Thai tradition, he kneels down before his opponents after each victory as a sign of respect.
If anything, Silva is too humble for his own good. He typically doesn’t do much in terms of promoting his fights, which is the main reason his pay-per-view numbers aren’t always spectacular. Chael Sonnen managed to bring out the promoter buried somewhere deep down Silva’s being, and the result was some entertaining staredowns leading up to their UFC 148 rematch, an intense weigh-in during which Silva shoulder checked Sonnen, and historic pay-per-view numbers (seventh highest in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s history).
Silva’s swagger inside the Octagon is the primary reason he’s MMA’s undisputed pound-for-pound king. From his Matrix-like head movement prior to finishing Forrest Griffin off with a jab in 2009, to his aggressive body language moments before crushing Sonnen’s UFC title dreams with a perfectly placed knee to the sternum at UFC 148, Silva’s unwavering confidence inside the Octagon typically breaks opponents before they ever get a chance to step inside the cage and compete with him.
Anderson’s celebrated 10 consecutive successful title defenses and 16-fight win streak is all nice and dandy, but it’s the way he makes it all look so easy inside the Octagon that makes him the greatest fighter in MMA history.
It’s not really rational to hold that against him.