All signs pointed to Anderson not leaving the cage as the winner for the first time in the UFC, this Saturday, in California. Not even the well wishes from actor and aikido black belt Steven Segal before entering the octagon seemed to help.
Like magic, something that only happens with the great champions, Anderson managed the winning hold at 3:10 min of the fifth round. The armbar from the triangle drove the fans – and opponent Chael Sonnen – wild.
“First I’d like to thank all of you; Chael is a great fighter,” said the Spider while still in the octagon, then revealing a possible explanation for his unexpectedly tame performance:
“I knew I wasn’t 100%. That’s no excuse, but I injured my rib in training. The doctor told me not to fight, but for you, for the show and the UFC I came here to do my job. Thank you,” he added.
Jiu-Jitsu!” Anderson Silva
Anderson had gone on a campaign to erase the memory of his taunting his opponent Demian Maia in his prior bout, where he criticized his adversary’s Jiu-Jitsu. This time he entered the scene sporting a gi and black belt, probably to reinforce his respect for the gentle art. It ended up that the very art of Jiu-Jitsu was what saved Anderson for the drubbing he suffered at the hands of Sonnen. He didn’t forget it when the fight was over and done.
“Thank you everyone, my friends in Brazil and my trainers. Nogueira brother Jiu-Jitsu!” he said in jubilation.
This time I came out with the silver medal” Sonnen
Not happy at all, Sonnen accepted the setback after having suggested he did not tap when the referee intervened.
“Look, it was a tough fight, he’s a tough guy. I took seconds, here’s nothing more I can say. They gave me my chance,” said Sonnen.
“I’m only here to be number 1. If I’m not the best, I’ll move on in life. We’re going to go back to the drawing board, but for now I have the silver medal,” he lamented.