Facets of the Spider

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Anderson shoots at his mark. Photo: Mike Ramirez

GRACIEMAG.com correspondent Mohamad Jehad last night witnessed an unusual training session with Anderson Silva and team. The workout took place on a soccer pitch. In this case it was not just any soccer pitch, but the royal soccer grounds situated in the dependencies of the palace of his highness Sheikh Mohamad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, prince of Abu Dhabi. A special mat was assembled in the goalie box so that Anderson could acclimate to the temperature at the same time of day as he will face Demian Maia, on Saturday night.

Nevertheless, the innovation ended there. The team’s warm-up consisted of a quick game of soccer. Heavyweights Minotauro, Alex Negão and Rafael Feijão were excluded by the “ball players”. At a determined moment someone exclaimed: “Mr Juarez. You shouldn’t try and make Anderson believe he knows how to play ball.” To which Anderson’s father responded: “If he played well he wouldn’t be the formidable fighter he is.”

After the “scrimmage”, the athletes used nearly the full extension of the mat to work on boxing, while Ramon Lemos and Andre Galvão used a few blocks to work on Mark Munoz’s ground game. With the group of fighters in the goalie box, Anderson had no doubt as to what to do: he grabbed his sneakers from his backpack and returned to the pitch to hit the mitts. The “Spider”, laid back as always, even used a short breather to do his Michael Jackson impression. It was surely the first time someone breakdanced in that palace.

The “Spider”, despite cracking everyone in court up with laughter, is far from being silly. His famously humble personality and charisma, add to that his professional drive, command admiration wherever he goes. Regardless of the results of his fights, Anderson is more like a royal knight.

Photo: Mike Ramirez

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