Sixteen wins in sixteen fights in the UFC, the most title defenses in UFC history and the willingness to go up in weight and fight when he’s needed most, but UFC president Dana White still isn’t convinced the world knows just how good Anderson Silva truly is.
The middleweight king and top pound-for-pound fighter on the planet is so good in fact, White believes he’s in a category all his own when it comes to MMA.
“Anderson Silva is so far the best fighter in the world, (expletive) pound-for-pound, they ought to make a whole other list for him. I don’t know what you call it, but he should be on that list. That’s how good this guy is,” White said last week.
For his last fight, Silva stepped up on short notice to face former Ultimate Fighter finalist Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153. It was revealed after the fight that Bonnar tested positive for steroids, but no amount of skills or performance enhancers were going to help him on that night.
White says when he spoke to Bonnar after it was over that he indicated it was the most shocking experience he ever felt in his many years inside the Octagon.
“This guy is 38 years old and still performing at the level. Bonnar went the distance with Jon Jones and he said to me after his fight with Anderson Silva, he was in total shock. Not to mention the fact that we find out he was on steroids,” White commented.
“He’s on steroids. He’s already the bigger, stronger guy. Anderson Silva has 36 days to prepare for that fight. He (expletive) annihilated him. So after the fight, he says to me, ‘That guy lives in the Matrix. Nobody’s ever done that to me in my life. I felt like I never fought a day in my life when I went in there with this guy,'” said White.
Silva’s next move is still to be determined because he was gunning for a super fight against UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, but it now appears he will instead face Nick Diaz in defense of his 170-pound title.
That leaves Silva without an opponent, but White isn’t worried about what’s next because the long standing Brazilian champion has always stepped up whenever the UFC has asked him to, and he doesn’t expect anything different going forward.
“When has Anderson Silva never stepped up to the plate and done what we asked him or needed him to do? Even fighting at 205 on a month’s notice,” said White.
The day that White dreads most, however, is the one when Silva walks into his office or gives him the call and says he’s hanging up his gloves for good. It will have to happen eventually because no one can fight forever, but White says it will be a sad day when Anderson Silva finally retires.
“That’s how good Anderson Silva is. I feel like the media and the fans don’t grasp it, don’t get it as much as I do,” said White.
“The day that that guy comes around and says I’d like to retire, it’s gonna bum me the (expletive) out.”