(Talk of bruised ribs and doing god’s work in the cage don’t belong in a post-fight interview)
Watching Anderson Silva get dominated on the feet and the ground by Chael Sonnen for the better part of five rounds Saturday night at UFC 117, a large number of fans and pundits assumed out loud that the middleweight champion must be sick or injured. How else could he be outworked, outstruck and outgrappled by Sonnen for over 23 minutes of a championship bout?
It didn’t take long for Silva to nullify the praise Sonnen’s career defining performance was garnering him as he announced in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that his own somewhat lethargic performance was a result of an injury, not Chael’s nearly perfectly executed game plan.
Besides the slick, yet last-ditch armbar-triangle combo he threw up and was able to catch Chael with in the dying seconds of the fifth round, Anderson really didn’t do a whole lot in the fight, but instead of praising Sonnen for contributing more than his half to their “Fight of the Night” awarded bout, he instead chalked it up to a rib injury he sustained in training more than a week prior to the fight.
Now, I’m not saying he wasn’t injured, but like most fighters will point out, if you go into a fight at 100 percent, it’s likely because you weren’t training hard enough.
Adding insult to injury (no pun intended), Silva has now come out and said that god basically helped him apply the fight-ending submission and that he was simply an instrument of the man in the sky’s jiu-jitsu skills.
As of today, we are instituting new rule that if you choose to fight with an injury, whether it be a hangnail or a cracked skull, you cannot use it as an excuse for a piss poor performance. You knew heading into the fight that your boo-boo would affect your performance to some degree. That’s the risk you took by not pulling out of the bout. Saying that he is a real champion because he didn’t back out of the fight because he didn’t want to let the fans or the UFC down doesn’t wash.
Since this is a new rule, hopefully we’ll overlook Anderson’s repeated reference to the injury he made to TATAME in an interview this week.
“I had some trouble on moving because I had my rib injured. I hurt my rib three weeks before the fight, broke it with [Satoshi] Ishii, a friend of Lyoto [Machida's] that came from Japan to train with us and I was training with him and, due to a move I did, I got it injured. I went to the doctor and he said I should not fight because it was not that serious at that time, but things could get worse during the fight, but thanks God, it worked out. I believe that everything we’ve planned to this fight turned out true.”
“[The injury] made it a little harder [to utilize my striking], because I couldn’t move as fast as I usually do… But he’s to be congratulated, he did a great fight… It was a huge fight. I believe that for the both of us it was very nice and it was a good fight for people to watch. I had some good opportunities while standing, but I couldn’t use them as I wish because I was injured. We trained a lot the movements of the stand-up game, with the coaches standing, but I only hit him few times.”
What we will point out is that earlier this week, Silva’s manager, Ed Soares told FightHype that Anderson’s ribs weren’t broken as he states in the TATAME interview, but they were bruised.
“I took him to the hospital and they X-Rayed each rib and they noticed that it was a bit swollen, but there was no fracture. They said it was bruised ribs, but the way he reacted when they touched it and how tender they were, they said it was in the muscle as well as the bruise,” Soares explained. “I’m not a doctor, but this is just what they told us. They prescribed some Ibuprofen 800 for him because it was so close to the fight, they couldn’t do any Vicodin. The doctors said, ‘I really don’t recommend that he fights,’ but Anderson said, ‘No man, the show must go on. I’m going to fight.’ I put it this way, he was supposed to corner Mark Munoz on Sunday for his fight against Okami, but I made him stay at home in bed. He was just lying around and letting his ribs heal up on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday because we traveled. He didn’t train again until we got to Oakland. He gave his ribs about a five-day rest.”
We’re also instituting a no saying your god helped you kick your opponent’s ass rule.
Isn’t saying that god helped you to beat someone up kind of contradictory, considering Jehovah is supposed to be a peaceful ghost? Sure, you can believe that whatever deity you feel created you gave you the tools to win and to overcome, but I’m pretty sure Jesus and all of the saints who are believed by some to be hanging out in heaven aren’t pitching in to pay $49.95 to watch UFC pay-per-views at god’s bachelor pad on a Saturday night, especially since they all have to get up to go to church the next morning.
At any rate, we’re serious when we say this is your only get out of jail free card, Anderson, so use it wisely.
Hopefully this is the last time we hear anything like this from Anderson as loosely translated by Ed Soares.
Here’s Anderson’s bit about how god helped him make Sonnen tap out. Maybe god should have applied the choke a little harder to elicit a third tap out of Chael to ensure there wouldn’t be people claiming afterwards that “he never tapped.”
“Actually, it all happened as it should do, but the biggest prompter of all this is God, he’s the biggest responsible for all of it, I’m just his instrument. This fight was good not for the fight’s world, but to people in general. We should never give up on our dreams, we should never give up on our goals. I believe it was a lesson to those who’s been fighting, but also for everyone that was there, for those who had a hard time and are almost giving up on something. I believe it was a great message and the real purpose of the sport. I played God’s servant in there to show this to people, to encourage them not to give up, to never give up, to always believe and make things happen…Thanks God, I went there and caught him.”