There’s little debate about UFC middleweight Anderson Silva’s starpower or the consideration he receives as one of the greatest fighters to ever enter the Octagon. However, without the contributions of a select few, it’s likely that only a small collective of hardcore fans would even know who Silva is.
One of the men helping lay the groundwork for Silva’s ascension to greatness is the very individual “The Spider” will face next weekend – Stephan Bonnar. Though Bonnar has never worn UFC gold or come close to sniffing a title-shot, he was part of the most important fight in the organization’s history, as his bout with Forrest Griffin on the Ultimate Fighter 1 Finale brought more attention to the product than had ever been the case before. The match-up is seen as the catalyst leading to the UFC’s current success and one Silva surely hasn’t forgotten.
“You have to respect Stephan Bonnar. He is the reason why MMA and the UFC are where they are today. He has done a lot for the sport. He has to be respected and given a lot of credit,” said Silva in an interview with the UFC.
Though Silva may appreciate Bonnar’s efforts, agreeing to action against him in the ring had little to do with admiration.
“It was a request from Dana to come in and save UFC 153. It was an opportunity to give back to all the Brazilian fans for what they did to support me in my last fight,” explained Silva, pointing to a few other factors related to his willingness to step up on short notice. “I believe I have more agility, more speed at this weight. I don’t know about the power but I do believe I am more agile. Due to the short amount of time to train, it is easier to make 205 rather than to try to cut down to 185.”
Bonnar-Silva are scheduled to headline the October 13 lineup, slated to take place in Rio de Janeiro. Bonnar will enter the bout on a three-fight winning streak, while Silva is seeking his sixteenth straight instance of success since signing with the UFC.
Check out the complete interview with Silva below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC