(Ramon says his head isn’t big; every hat he owns is simply too small.)
Brazilians always seem to take the glass is half full approach to life, so it shouldn’t surprise us that Anderson Silva’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach, Ramon Lemos sees a bright side to Chael Sonnen‘s positive post-UFC 117 steroid test result.
Lemos told Tatame recently that Sonnen’s infraction only proves how good his fighter really is.
"I was very happy because he was on top of us for 23 minutes, on his best position, and Anderson submitted him, won the fight and kept the belt… Then you see that the guy had used things, so he had better conditioning than a regular athlete… It’s wonderful for us," Lemos said. "That proves that Anderson Silva is the best of t he world, without any doubts."
Considering that Sonnen, whether or not he had any help from PEDs, is the only fighter to ever dominate Silva the way that the Oregon Republican did in August, it’s no surprise that Ramos is in agreement that the one year suspension Chael was handed down by the California State Athletic Commission last month was just. He also is of the opinion that when Sonnen does come back from his suspension that he should be forced to work his way back up from the bottom of the UFC’s middleweight division.
Since Silva only has a handful of fights remaining on his current UFC contract and has expressed a desire to retire in the next year or two, unless Sonnen wins his appeal, it’s unlikely the pair will ever get a second match.
"I’m in favor of rematches for the fans, the show, the event, the whole media… But, as a professional and athlete, and now as Anderson Silva’s coach on Atos, I consider a rematch a bad thing and it doesn’t worth. Because, if the guy had loss on the judges’ call, it’d be ok. But he stayed for 23 minutes, and that means five rounds, on his best position, which is to takedown and punch from the top, and he couldn’t define the fight, and he lost," Lemos said. "There’s no need to know if he had taken extra medicines or not. You can’t have a rematch on those conditions. He has to be punished and stay a year off and then come back for the end of the line and wait for his call to fight Anderson Silva again."
He says that all that the incident with Sonnen has done is expedited an anticipated match-up between Silva and fellow Brazilian, Vitor Belfort — a fight Ramon says they have coveted for a while.
"It’s a fight we’ve all waited for and, on Anderson’s trainings, we’ve talked that he’d be a probable athlete to fight him. I think Anderson’s fought everyone on his division and those he didn’t, was because they weren’t ready to fight Anderson and have a title fight… They have to have an entire story to get to Anderson Silva. Vitor Belfort has been showing it. The fight’s coming and we have to do our best. The training is being set, we’re making a full scheduled here and putting it all on paper," he explained. "I’ve been talking to Anderson every day, I think that Vitor Belfort has many strong points, but have some weaknesses too, and I think those weaknesses will make him fail on this mission to get Anderson’s belt. I think he’s a top athlete, but Anderson has conditions to beat him and many other who’ll come his way."
When asked if Vitor’s stand-up which is superior to Sonnen’s is of any concern to his charge, considering Chael surprisingly picked the champion apart on his feet, Lemos chalked Silva’s inability to get off first to his rib injury.
"In the dressing room, while he was doing some warm up exercises, you could tell he had an injury because he was always bringing his hand to his rib… He entered the stage wearing a kimono, something you’ve never seen before on Anderson’s career. But when you get there injured, your mind goes shitty, you keep thinking you can’t move, this or that. I wanted, in the future, that Anderson fighting at his best, so that people know Anderson is a monster on the stand up game, on the ground too from the top or on the bottom. He’s an excellent athlete. I noticed he wasn’t the same on the stand-up game from the beginning and I think it was due to his injury," Lemos pointed out. "Anderson has no reasons to hide it… We know very well who Anderson Silva is because of all he has done on MMA, he has a huge history. He has over 30 fights on his record and everybody knows what he can do. No one unlearn it all in one fight. So, there’s no such thing like he’s not “the man” anymore. On one fight he unlearned it all… So why did he do all that before? For sure the injury spoke loudly on this fight."