Anderson Silva, who faces UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman tonight, can prove a lot tomorrow night. Was the first fight a fluke? Is he still at the top of his game? Does he have the motivation to stay at the top level?
Silva’s coaches believe the latter may be the biggest issue. According to Diogenes Assahida, a muay thai instructor who has known Silva for over a decade and was once a cornerman for the former champ, a “lack of motivation” was what went wrong in the first fight, he told ESPN.com through a translator.
“Since he started training in the beginning, he’s always worked hard to be the best. To be the champion,” Assahida said. “In my personal opinion, I don’t know how much it matters to him to be the champion anymore, but it matters to win this fight.”
Former UFC heavyweight Pedro Rizzo, who has trained with and also coached Silva for this camp concurs with Assahida.
“Anderson is 38 years old, and sometimes you feel tired of training, feel tired of all the pressure on your back,” Rizzo told MMAFighting.com. “You feel like every time you step in the ring you have to prove something, and to keep your belt. So it’s a lot of pressure, and sometimes you get tired of that.”
Although they both feel a lack of motivation lead to his loss to Weidman at UFC 162, both agree that they are confident he will find a way to victory tonight.
“He’s spectacular. In the gym he wasn’t doing this, but whenever you’re in the ring with all the pressure and emotions? Anything can happen, Rizzo said. “But I think he’s going to do his strategy, and our strategy is to get in there, beat Chris Weidman, get away from the cage and go back home.”
“He’s really motivated for this. He can take the good from losing, and it motivated him,” Rizzo continued. “He’s ready to fight somebody who beat him, and I think it was good for him. I’ve never seen him in as great a shape as he is now.”
“I think for a few fights, he’s had a little bit of a lack of motivation. He was tired. His mindset and his focus now look good. I’ve been with him since the beginning of this camp and I am very confident,” Assihida said.Tags: Chris Weidman, Diogenes Assahida, mma, MMA NEWS, pedro rizzo, ufc, ufc 162, UFC 168, ufc news