Anderson Silva, left, kicks Chris Weidman during their UFC 162 middleweight… (David Becker / Associated…)
Anderson Silva may sometimes have been too coy for his own good, as his fight plan against Chris Weidman in July revealed.
Is he doing it again?
Silva, in a telephone conversation with The Times on Thursday, reverted to his elusive style of answering questions in discussing the fallout from his second-round knockout loss to Weidman and what it means for their Dec. 28 rematch at MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
“Every fight is a new fight, every fight’s different,” Silva said through his interpreter and manager, Ed Soares, when asked how the second bout will differ. “It’s hard to visualize how it will go.”
Surely, the 38-year-old must have some regrets about his first UFC loss, the one that ended his Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight title reign that dated to October 2006?
“No regrets,” Silva said. “The only thing I should’ve not done, my only mistake, was not taking a step back and leaving my feet parallel. Everything else was fine.”
Fine? The theatrics? The clowning, Ali-like showmanship and egging on of Weidman that left Silva’s jaw exposed one too many times and led to the technical knockout on the canvas?
Back home in Brazil, Silva cried to reporters who asked him about how unnecessary his act appeared in hindsight and about speculation that the over-the-top act could’ve made some think he threw the fight.
“All the people who had doubts and questioned my intentions … none of those people have ever fought or defended the belt as many times as I did, so I don’t really worry about those kind of people,” said Silva, who has denied throwing the fight. “It’s definitely difficult to hear that or defend myself against that.”
Silva’s actions in July were smartly assessed after that fight as a way to goad Weidman into a stand-up fight given the new champion’s wrestling prowess.
But since Silva has lost to Weidman while striking, what does he do now? Doesn’t he have to expend more energy in training on submissions?
“He’s not changing anything in his camp,” Soares interrupted, before Silva could answer the question himself. “He committed an error. He will not make that mistake again.”
Silva said “yes” to the question of whether he felt confident about being able to winning a fight on the ground. “I’m a black belt,” he said.
“What’s most important is to do my job well,” he added.
Will he win the rematch, as some, including light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones, believe he will because of a re-dedication to training?
“Of course,” Silva said. “I’m better than I was before.”
Even though he’s not changing anything in this camp?
OK, we’ll take his elusive word for it.
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