Previously scheduled to face Vitor Belfort on the 10th of April, at UFC112 in Abu Dhabi, Anderson Silva has had his opponent switched on him. A shoulder injury sidelined Belfort and replaced him with Jiu-Jitsu black belt Demian Maia. Although he prefers to keep quiet about his upcoming fight, when puts his middleweight belt on the line, he did have a chat with GRACIEMAG.com.
What did you think about the opponent change, does it change anything for you?
No, it changes nothing for me.
You were in Abu Dhabi and saw the installations for the first event to take place there, in an outdoor arena. How important is this expansion to the UFC, the fighters and the style?
It’s a new experience for me, for the other athletes who will perform there, and especially for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. I feel everything it adds to both Zuffa and us fighters is rewarding. Change is always a bit scary, but the expectations are great and we are waiting to see whether it will indeed be a great event and draw the expected audience. I hope it will be a success. Let’s wait and see.
What is the pressure of being UFC champion, one of the most important and carefully-followed fighters in the world like?
Truth be told, contrary to what many think, I’m not worried about it, man. My concern has always been and will always be, while actively fighting, to provide as best I can for my family. I train to do a good job, and have time for my family. No payout, belt or anything can buy that.
Two of your friends will be in action on Saturday, Rodrigo Minotauro and Wanderlei Silva, who face Cain Velasquez and Michael Bisping, respectively. What do you expect from these battles?
Those are two tough fights, but they are very well prepared and I believe that everything will be OK. They are well prepared and may God be with them.