UFC middleweight champion Silva already thinking about next fight

Sharing the Octagon with UFC middleweight champion Anderson "The Spider" Silva is no easy task -- just ask Rich Franklin. Silva shares his thoughts on his most recent fight, as well as what lies ahead.

Originally Published: November 7, 2007
By Gleidson Venga | recently caught up with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to get his thoughts on his win over Rich Franklin, his top pound-for-pound ranking and on what lies ahead.

Gleidson Venga: Did you expect to dominate the fight the way you did?

Anderson Silva: I did what I trained to do. I was well prepared, and thank God that my techniques were superior.

GV: Did you have any trouble in comparison to your first match with Franklin?

AS: Yes; there are no tomato cans [in MMA]. Every fighter who steps in the Octagon is well-trained, especially a high-class fighter like Franklin.

GV: He seemed worried when you started clinching and unleashing your knees.

AS: Those are my strongest tools. This is what I train for everyday, and that was my strategy.

[+] EnlargeFranklin vs Silva
Ric Fogel for ESPN.comAnderson Silva, left, proved he's one of the best MMA fighters in the world by dismantling Rich Franklin -- twice.
GV: In the last seconds of the first round, you seemed to knock him out, but the referee waited until the horn sounded. What do you think about that moment?

AS: I think if I had one more minute, I would have finished that fight. But things like that happen.

GV: And now are you enjoying your vacation in Brazil?

AS: I'm not on vacation. I'm training in a gym with Team Black House. I return to Curitiba, Brazil, on Nov. 11 to see my family and then I'll go to the United States to continue my wrestling training at a university in Los Angeles. I'll be there for 20 days and then I'll return to Brazil to train in the Black House gym again.

GV: Has a date or an opponent been announced for your next fight?

AS: Not yet, but I'm preparing for the best fighters, and I'm waiting to know who it will be.

GV: The media are pointing to you as the best pound-for-pound fighter and say that you are even better than [Russian heavyweight] Fedor Emelianenko. How do you feel about this?

AS: Media is media. You have to know your place in these situations. [The media says] when you lose, you're finished; but when you win, you're the best. So you have to know how to keep things apart, but I'm mindful of this. I know if I don't train, I will lose. I also know that if I train, there will be a guy who can beat me. So the deal is to keep training. To me, this victory over Franklin is in the past. I'll work to not commit the same errors I committed in my previous fights.

GV: You are probably the biggest superstar in Brazil right now. What are you facing at this moment in your career?

AS: I'm trying to do my job well. I train to do these things people are seeing. There are no cocky things, no waste of time. I train every single movement I do in my fights. And I have to say thank you to all my fans, people who cheer for me. While I keep fighting, I'll keep training to do better so people will be proud of me.

GV: How does it feel to be famous in the United States?

AS: It's nice. But this is the point: You have to know how to keep things apart. I must always be prepared.

GV: You fought in the 93-kilogram [205-pound] weight class in PRIDE a few years ago. Did you consider fighting in this weight class in the UFC?

AS: When I fought in PRIDE, there was no under 83-kilogram weight class, so I had to fight under 93 kilograms. UFC offered me to fight in this weight class [185 pounds], so I play there. Everybody has their own problems, and my problems are all under 83 kilograms. But if I have to fight against the light heavyweights, I'll do this. My regular weight is 97 kilograms; so to reach 93 will be easy for me.

GV: One of your biggest friends and supporters is Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira. With Randy Couture leaving the UFC, there is a big chance he'll have a title shot. What are you expecting?

AS: I'm expecting him to win that belt; he's working towards that. We are looking forward to it, and our goal is for him to get this title. He's got a good head. He knows it won't be easy; he has to train hard. But we are all helping him because we know he deserves this title.

Gleidson Venga covers the Brazilian MMA scene for