UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva was heavily criticized when he failed to finish Thales Leites and Demian Maia in meetings with his fellow Brazilians. Since that time, however, Silva has stopped such fighters as Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen (twice), Yushin Okami and Vitor Belfort.
Now, it appears there was a reason behind Silva not going in for the kill, at least against Leites – friendship.
“There’s no such thing as holding back. I want to finish as soon as possible,” said Silva in a recent interview with TATAME. “The only time I did it was because he was a friend of mine. It was against Thales Leites. We went until the last round because he’s a friend of mine and I respect him.”
The decision to go to the scorecards against Leites ended a five-year run of stoppages for Silva.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC/Sports Illustrated