It’s been more than five years since UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva tasted defeat, but it’s not a loss that he likes to count on his record.
The loss that Silva suffered was a disqualification to Yushin Okami during the 2006 Rumble on the Rock welterweight tournament. After taking Silva down, Okami caught an upkick from his Brazilian counterpart while his knees were still on the mat.
The kick left Okami unable to continue, but it was also illegal, so the fight was stopped and Silva was disqualified.
Now in 2011, Silva will finally get the chance to finish the fight started with Okami in Hawaii a few years ago. This time, Silva will have home field advantage fighting in his native Brazil, and he believes his fight with Okami will be great for both his country and Japan.
“He’s a great fighter and I think both Brazil and Japan are going through a really important phase,” Silva said about Okami on Thursday. “We (Brazil) because we have the presence of the UFC here and Japan for being a huge potency in the sport and being very traditional in martial arts. They’re going through a hard time, so this is actually a very big opportunity for me and for Okami as well.”
Make no mistake, however, regardless of his respect for Okami, Silva still has a bad taste in his mouth that people talk about their first fight as a loss for the Brazilian.
“Just to correct you, I did not lose,” Silva said when a reporter mentioned the loss at a press conference on Thursday.
While Okami was present at the UFC 134: Rio press conference, he was mostly quiet as the majority of the questions from reporters were directed at the Brazilian fighters in attendance.
The UFC’s top middleweight contender was seated next to former light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin, who offered Okami some advice from his past experience fighting Anderson Silva when the two battled at UFC 101 in 2009.
Silva won the fight with Griffin by blistering first-round TKO.
“Whatever I did, don’t do that,” Griffin said to Okami as UFC president Dana White and everyone in attendance laughed at the comment.
Griffin was also quizzed if he was planning on getting a revenge match with Silva after the Brazil show and the author of two books simply said “pass,” again getting a solid laugh from the crowd in Brazil.
Okami will try to follow Griffin’s advice and see if he can pick up a second win over Silva, with this one not coming by way of disqualification when he meets the UFC’s reigning middleweight champion on Aug. 27 in Rio de Janeiro.