In Abu Dhabi the final pieces are falling into place for Anderson Silva’s title defense, and Demian Maia is doing his part alongside beasts like Xande Ribeiro. Before traveling to the Arab Emirates, Demian had a chat with NOCAUTE magazine, in an article available in the latest issue, now on newsstands across Brazil. The fighter described important moments in his career, from his beginnings in the martial arts to his start in MMA and success in the UFC. Of course, Demian couldn’t leave out addressing his opponent, Anderson. Check out some snippets from the article below:
Controversy with Anderson
I think the champion always feels threatened by those who are coming in, raises his guard and may speak ill of them. I don’t know exactly why we fell out, why he said all those bad things about me; but I made a joke once at a UFC press conference that I never imagined would leak, and it must have irritated him. They (the organization) asked that we make stronger statements for marketing purposes. The guys asked whether I’d submit Anderson and I said what they wanted me to and laughed. I don’t like doing that; I’d rather see when fight time comes. But I said it and I feel that may be what set off his ill-feelings towards me. But, to tell you the truth, I don’t know for sure if that’s what triggered this whole thing.
I’ve always been a fan of him as a fighter. Not as a person, because of his gratuitous attacks on me. I’m not his fan on the personal side like I am of Minotauro, Cigano or Wanderlei. But as an athlete, I’ll remain his fan, regardless of what happens in this fight. He’s excellent. I’m happy when he wins and I root for him. I confess that against Thales Leites (UFC 97) I didn’t root for him. But in his other title-defenses I always did. I have no problem with him. I’m cool-headed in that respect.
Friends in common
The fact I’m friends with Rogerio Minotouro and Rodrigo Minotauro, besides doing my boxing training with Dorea (Minotauro Team boxing coach), to me isn’t a problem. I feel things are moving more and more to the professional side. At blue belt I fought a teammate from Alliance in the final of the World Championship. I also fought Jacare, who was on my team. These days there are guys who are great friends, André Galvão e o Eduardo Telles, who are training with him. I like Minotauro a lot, and he trains with him too. I have no problem with that at all, and I feel everyone is being ethical. No one’s going to say, ‘Shucks, the guy did this or that.’ They’re going to train with him, without thinking about the opponent. I told Minotouro that, if Rodrigo is in Anderson’s corner, I have no problem with that at all. I’ll remain friends with him after the fight and continue to train with them. Of course it’s much easier for me because I’m not the champion. I’ve always been for this professionalism business, not because I wanted to, but because of destiny.
The big shot
For this chance to suddenly arise, the way it happened, was funny. I never figured it would happen so soon after my loss. It’s the opportunity of a lifetime and no way can I say no, is spite of the lack of time. I can only thank God for the things conspiring in my favor. They called me in the middle of carnival for me to sign the bout agreement and it was a surprise.
The way to win
I have to fight with my heart. I have to fight within my style, be aggressive and go for the finish. I’ll have to pick the right time to take risks. I’ll have to find the path in the octagon. It’s a labyrinth, but it’s there. I hope I can find it.