A reflection on Anderson

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Photo: Luca Atalla

In Abu Dhabi, Jiu-Jitsu master and coach to Anderson Silva Sylvio Behring followed all the fallout from Silva’s fight against Demian Maia. Upon reading “Letter from Abu Dhabi IV” – part of a series of articles written by GRACIEMAG editor Luca Atalla –, Behring sent in his own comments to be posted in the bulletin, as did thousands of other GRACIEMAG.com readers.
Nevertheless, for Sylvio’s authority on the matter, having worked alongside Anderson, it is only fair his analysis is given greater exposure:

“It is worth mentioning that we are in Abu Dhabi for the World Pro and the atmosphere here has been spectacular, not just in terms of quality of matches and the event, but in the respect shared between the athletes, organization, coaches and press.

But, when the subject comes to MMA, particularly the UFC… Talking about Anderson’s performance against Demian is inevitable. And most of those who know the “Spider”, even disapproving, still believe he is not that arrogant character that showed up last weekend and made a large number of spectators leave the arena frustrated, as though they regretted being there.

Congratulations on shedding light on the matter and bringing for broader reflection the fact there has been an international backlash, which has put one of the greatest Brazilian talents of all times into quite a spot.

The fight was certainly a disappointment to anyone who hoped for another show from the “Spider”. To anyone who has seen him train and knows in what great shape he is, it was torture watching him avoid combat. We work on preparing the athlete to get in there and give his best, not the bare minimum. During the event, since we are only watching, we are just fans. The emotions of fans are biased, often reaching an overblown level that defies reason.

Anderson was: perfect in some instances, irreverent in others, arrogant, brilliant, irritating, humiliating, and so on… What he did in the ring is irreproachable in the eyes of a trainer. He is human and has his high-performance moments or doesn’t, depending on the physical, technical and, mainly, psychological state he is in.

But, as a black belt and champion, he needs to improve his speech. If he didn’t need to ask forgiveness, he wouldn’t have done so after the fight. If he needed to teach a lesson, he didn’t need to tell anyone. A lesson is only taught when the other learns.

I don’t believe Demian needed any lesson at all; he was a challenger like all the others. And he fought till the very end, beaten and hurt. If he meant to punish him, it backfired. He ended up raising Demian’s stock.

That Anderson is better, there is no doubt! I’m one of his biggest fans and admirers. But the one taught the lesson was us.

With all certainty, I can state that Anderson has gone through reflection to digest the consequences of what happened and he will return with the lesson learnt to show the world the great champion and man he is.

And I have no doubt we will see the greatest MMA fighter of the day dazzle us with his art and bring us joy with his victories.

Thank you and best regards, Sylvio Behring.”

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