The first thought that usually comes to mind when thinking about Anderson Silva is the legacy he’s built as the greatest UFC champion to ever compete in the Octagon.
Silva has gone undefeated with a perfect 15-0 record, but some might forget that before he was the greatest ever he was a 17-4 mixed martial artist trying to find the right spot in the sport.
He bounced from promotion to promotion picking up fights, and at the time he never imagined the path that he would one day walk that would turn into the proverbial golden brick road.
“I never thought this, I just wanted to be as good as my coaches because at that time things weren’t as glamorous as they are now. We only had one event which was Pride and they didn’t have my category, there wasn’t my division, you didn’t have my weight class in Pride. So, I always try to find my space, try to be better than I am everyday, but I didn’t have this thing of being a champion, so I just wanted to be better than I used to be the day before,” Silva said on Thursday.
“Now that I’m here I’m aware there’s a lot of responsibility behind this and I remember everyday where I came from, where I am and where I intend to get to.”
Silva had to earn his spot to even land in the UFC, but once he got there he left the middleweight division and a couple of light heavyweights in the wake of his destruction like something out of a Terminator film.
Getting there was tough, but Silva says maintaining his spot as the best in the world has been even tougher.
“I think staying where we are, at the time where we are, to just continue winning to remain as the champion is more difficult,” Silva stated.
“Until you get here you find many problems that you face, you have many difficulties, but I’m lucky that everything has worked out.”
There is a certain hunger that a fighter needs to scratch, claw and climb their way to the top, but it takes an even deeper devotion to being the best to stay there.
Silva’s reign as middleweight champion will have lasted six years as of Oct 14, 2012 with 10 consecutive defenses. No other fighter has even come close to that in UFC history, and it’s a mark that every champion will aspire to reach.
It’s taken a lifetime of dedication for Silva to stay on top, and if he has his way, things won’t be changing any time soon.
“I think the most difficult thing is to stay there. People are demanding things from you all the time, you always have to be focused, and concentrated for anything that might happen,” Silva said.
“It’s always much more difficult to stay there at the top than to get there.”
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