Category Archives: Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum official for UFC's Shanghai debut main event,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5321737814001
Filed under: News, UFC

A fight that was supposed to happen a couple times already now is official to headline the UFC’s visit to Shanghai this fall.

Former UFC middleweight champion and all-time great Anderson Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) will take on Kelvin Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) in the headliner of the UFC’s debut in mainland China, set to take place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Nov. 25. UFC officials confirmed the previously reported fight overnight.

Kelvin Gastelum

The pair originally was set to meet at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, but Gastelum had to be pulled from the bout after testing positive for marijuana metabolites in a test stemming from a previous bout with Vitor Belfort. A suitable replacement couldn’t be found for Silva, who ended up off the card altogether.

Gastelum then suggested a meeting in Long Island, New York, at UFC on FOX 25 less than a month ago. Gastelum got a spot on the show, but fought another ex-champ – Chris Weidman. Gastelum suffered a third-round submission, which was his first loss since a split-decision setback to Neil Magny in 2015.

The fight will be Silva’s first appearance since February, when a close decision win over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 snapped a four-fight losing skid. Silva had a decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 183 later overturned after both fighters failed doping tests, and his two fights before that were title-fight losses to Chris Weidman. His win over Brunson was his first victory since October 2012 against Stephan Bonnar.

Before his title-costing loss to Weidman, however, the record-breaking former champion was on a 17-fight victorious run. Silva still is widely considered one of the best to ever grace the cage.

For more on UFC Fight Night in Shanghai, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Weidman def. Gastelum”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Reports: Anderson Silva vs. Kelvin Gastelum targeted for UFC Fight Night in Shanghai

It didn’t happen in Rio de Janeiro or New York, but it seems Kelvin Gastelum will finally get to add another chapter to his legend-hunting mission against former UFC champion Anderson Silva.

According to multiple reports, the middleweights have agreed to meet in the headliner of the UFC’s debut in mainland China, set to take place at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai on Nov. 25. first reported the news.

The middleweights were originally set to meet at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, but Gastelum (14-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) had to be pulled from the bout after testing positive for marijuana metabolites in a test stemming from a previous bout with Vitor Belfort. A suitable replacement couldn’t be found for Silva  (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC), who ended up out of the card altogether.

Gastelum then suggested a meeting in Long Island, New York, which hosted UFC on FOX 25 on July 22. Gastelum got the date but ended up meeting another ex-champ in Chris Weidman. Gastelum suffered a third-round submission, which also meant his first loss since a split decision to Neil Magny in 2015.

This will be Silva’s first octagon outing since February, when a close decision win over Derek Brunson at UFC 208 snapped a two-fight losing skid. Silva, who had a decision victory over Nick Diaz at UFC 183 later overturned after both fighters failed doping tests, hadn’t had an official UFC win since 2012.

Before his title-costing loss to Weidman, however, the record-breaking former champion was on a 17-fight victorious run. Silva is still widely considered one of the best to ever grace the octagon.

For more on UFC Fight Night in Shanghai, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Weidman def. Gastelum”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Today in MMA History: Anderson Silva, and the worst night of Forrest Griffin's career,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5535307034001
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

By the time Aug. 8, 2009, rolled around, fans already knew Anderson Silva was a great fighter.

How could they not? He’d taken the UFC middleweight title from Rich Franklin some three years earlier, then won seven more fights after that, breaking the previous UFC record for most consecutive victories with a graceful destructiveness.

Still, “The Spider” was at a crossroads. He’d cleaned out his division so thoroughly that he’d begun to look bored with his own dominance. A title defense against Patrick Cote in Chicago the year before ended with a TKO due to Cote’s knee injury, but not before Silva confused fans with his refusal to attack. A decision victory over Thales Leites the following April was similarly uninspiring, and suddenly a crisis seemed to be forming.

Why did the world’s best fighter insist on winning without fighting? What could be done to shake him out of an almost aggressive complacency?

With UFC 101, the company’s first event in Philadelphia, planned for late summer 2009, the UFC turned to a familiar solution. What if Silva once again went up in weight, as he had done against James Irvin in a counter-programming effort meant to sink the first Affliction pay-per-view a year earlier? And what if this time he faced a popular former light heavyweight champion?

Enter Forrest Griffin, the overachieving 205-pounder who had gone from total obscurity to reality TV show fame to a brief stint as a titleholder all in the span of a few years. Griffin had taken the UFC light heavyweight title from Quinton Jackson with a narrow decision victory in July 2008, only to turn around and lose the belt to Rashad Evans via TKO in his first title defense later that year.

Griffin, too, was at a crossroads. His “TUF” victory had made him an instant celebrity, and his title win had validated his quick rise. His reign as champion was short even for the tumultuous light heavyweight division, but he was too big a name to go back to fighting the also-rans of the weight class while building himself back up.

Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin

Initially, Griffin was connected to a fight with Thiago Silva, who’d recently suffered the first loss of his career at the hands of the rising Lyoto Machida. When the UFC asked him to fight a far superior Silva instead, Griffin once joked that it was the result of “a clerical error.”

It made sense for the UFC. Fans weren’t exactly howling for the chance to see another Silva staring contest with the belt on the line. The Philly fans had a reputation for being ruthless to the extent that Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission executive director Greg Sirb publicly warned fighters at the pre-fight press conference that the crowd would reward them with boos if they brought anything other than their “A-game.”

That comment may not have been specifically aimed at Silva, but it couldn’t have been far from people’s minds.

This was the first time since coming to the UFC that Silva had been anything other than the headliner (Silva-Griffin was the night’s co-main event, leading into the lightweight title clash between champion B.J. Penn and challenger Kenny Florian). Griffin was known for being a workhorse who often beat athletically superior fighters by pushing the pace and wading through the necessary punishment. He seemed big enough to test Silva’s power, and stubborn enough to come forward even when it was bad idea.

But Griffin knew why the UFC had selected him. At a book signing event two months before the fight, Griffin recounted the phone call he’d had with UFC President Dana White when the possibility was proposed to him. The offer was “not really a question” so much as a demand, according to Griffin, but he cautioned White that he wouldn’t go recklessly chasing Silva, no matter what kind of excitement the UFC might be hoping for with the pairing.

Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin

“I said, ‘You know I’m not going to just rush in there. I saw what happened to Chris Leben when he did that. I’m going to fight a smart fight.’”

Regardless, Griffin joked, he knew the UFC wanted “a big, slow guy to follow Anderson around and make him look real good,” and he fit the bill.

“But seriously, for a hundred Gs, what are you going to do, say no?” Griffin said. “Of course I’ll fight the fight. It’s 15 minutes, man. I’ll do all right, don’t worry about it.”

Griffin entered the cage that night the same way he would leave it minutes later, jogging down the aisle as if he couldn’t wait to get started. Silva followed in a slow stroll, chin up and head cocked back, as if daring you to try to rush him.

As Bruce Buffer introduced him, the Philadelphia fans peppered Silva with boos, causing him to mock frown as he cast his eyes from one side of the crowd to the other. He seemed to want us to know that he didn’t care what we thought, and yet at the same time he looked at least a little bit surprised at the reaction. Didn’t these people used to love him?

Not that it was going to force him to fight any differently. For the first minute of the fight, Silva did what he’d always done. He circled around the cage. He feinted with his hands, with his shoulders, with his feet. He watched Griffin, like some killer robot gathering data and assessing vulnerabilities. When Griffin threw a distant two-punch combo and then finished with a head kick, Silva calmly moved his head out of the way with a complete lack of concern.

It was roughly a minute into the fight before Silva threw his first strike, catching a Griffin leg kick with his left hand and firing off a punch with his right, much like he’d done to quickly dispatch Irvin in his last trip to 205 pounds.

Griffin, for the time being, stayed calm. He tried a Superman punch. He pumped his jab. He resisted the urge to go chasing after Silva, which, as he explained in a later interview, would have played directly into the counter-striker’s hands.

“What’s he’s doing there is he’s getting you to open up, to stop, to get a little frustrated, to load up, so he can counter you,” Griffin said. “He wants you to throw him that big, slow, hard punch. And that’s what he’s doing. He’s appearing to be open — he’s feinting. He’s not going out trying to lead the fight. He’s trying to get you to (lead). He’s trying to suck you in.”

Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin

By the second minute of the fight, Griffin had begun to slowly ratchet up his aggression, but by then Silva was ready for more. For the first time in the fight he bulled his way forward with a multi-punch combination that mostly missed, but succeeded in getting Griffin to lash out with a left hook to check his progress. Silva evaded the punch, then came back with a right hook that dropped Griffin.

When Griffin got up, it was as if someone had hit the reset button on his offense, reverting him back to the kind of fighter he’d sworn he wasn’t going to be. As Silva threw more, so did Griffin. Silva gestured for him to come on, and Griffin did. Silva feinted with his hands at his waist, and Griffin unfurled a three-punch combination, hitting nothing but air. Silva came back with a left hand that sat him down again.

“I tried to punch him, and he literally moved his head out of the way and looked at me like I was stupid for doing it,” Griffin said in a radio interview a year later. “He looked at me like, ‘Why would you do such a stupid thing?’ … And then he punched me. … I felt like a kid trying to wrestle his dad.”

With Griffin on his back, Silva stood over him, peppering him with punches as the crowd howled.

“I think he really is trying to send a message here, Mike,” UFC commentator Joe Rogan said to his broadcast partner Mike Goldberg.

Silva stepped back with his hands on his hips, then offered to help Griffin up as he got to his feet. The gesture seemed vaguely mocking, but what could Griffin do? He grasped Silva’s hand, then went back to work firing punches. Strategy seemed to have gone out the window.

Griffin missed a left hook, then connected on a jab that earned him a disdainful look from Silva. Silva didn’t even bother to bring his hands up. Griffin lunged forward with a two-punch combination that Silva avoided almost with a casual shrug before responding with a short right hand in retreat. Griffin ran face-first into the punch and then collapsed onto the Bud Light logo, legs splayed out, hands waving at the air in front of him in a sort of international gesture requesting mercy.

Forrest Griffin

He got that mercy from referee Kevin Mulhall, who moved in to stop the bout at the 3:23 mark of the first round. Silva celebrated with a jog around the cage as a dazed Griffin rolled to his feet and headed for the cage door with the referee and doctor trailing him. As Griffin’s team tried to stop him from leaving the cage, Silva climbed atop it and then jumped back down.

“‘The Spider is back!” Goldberg shouted on the broadcast.

When the camera flashed back to Griffin, he was out of the cage and on the arena floor, jogging back to the dressing room the same way he’d come. He wouldn’t stop until he was out of sight.

That exit would prompt even more Internet mockery than the result of the fight itself. Within days the memes flooded in. Griffin would later refer to it as the worst night of his career, made slightly worse by the fact that he later tested positive for the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, which required him to pay a fine and underdog a 30-day suspension after the fight.

Griffin would fight again that November, defeating Tito Ortiz via decision in a close fight. Afterwards, he apologized to Silva when he encountered him backstage.

Anderson Silva

“I’m sorry I ran out on you, it was no disrespect,” Griffin said. “I just wanted it to be a great fight and I was really disappointed when it wasn’t.”

Silva appeared to accept the apology, and why not? He’d won the fight and enjoyed his moment, maybe even more so without Griffin there. The GIFs of the finish that fans passed around on message boards after the fight made Silva out to be more Jedi than fighter, exhibiting the calm of a man who knew the future, or at least the next few seconds of it.

Plus, now the fans were off his back. He’d given them a show as well as a finish. These people loved him again – at least until the next one.

As for Griffin, he’d spend at least the next year answering nearly constant questions about the fight. How did it feel to lose that badly? What could he have done differently? Why did he run? He used humor to deflect the questions. He recounted telling one interviewer that he was merely in a hurry to get backstage because the interviewer’s mother was waiting for him there. He insisted that he never went back and watched the fight. He didn’t need to.

The thing he should have done instead, he would say in several subsequent interviews, was refuse to take the fight in the first place. This was Anderson Silva, after all. What was he thinking?

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

“Today in MMA History” is an MMAjunkie series created in association with MMA History Today, the social media outlet dedicated to reliving “a daily journey through our sport’s history.”

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Jon Jones: Anderson Silva told me Daniel Cormier 'has fear in his heart'

Jon Jones had a conversation with fellow former UFC champion Anderson Silva that boosted his confidence to an even greater degree ahead of Saturday’s UFC 214 title rematch with Daniel Cormier.

Jones (22-1 MMA, 16-1 UFC), who challenges Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) for light heavyweight gold in the UFC 214 headliner, has always spoke highly of Silva throughout his career. They’ve trained together on multiple occasions and also share a commonality in having fought “D.C.”

Jones, of course, beat Cormier in their first encounter at UFC 182 in January 2015. The rematch has been scheduled multiple times, with one attemped at UFC 200 in July 2016. The fight fell apart during fight week when Jones was flagged with a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) violation, which led to “The Spider” stepping in as a replacement on roughly 48 hours’ notice.

Cormier beat Silva (34-8 MMA, 17-4 UFC) quite handily by unanimous decision with the help of a wresting-heavy game plan. The Brazilian apparently had some takeaways from the fight, though, and needless to say, they weren’t very kind.

Instagram Photo

“When it comes to the fight, basically he just told me to know what I’m capable of,” Jones said on today’s UFC 214 conference call. “He said basically in a roundabout way, he said: ‘Make sure you know what you’re capable of.’ He said it was almost surprising to feel the level of fear (he) felt from Daniel. He said to me, ‘I’m an old man now, and Daniel had to take me down round after round because I felt fear coming off of him. This man has fear in his heart.’ He said, ‘Know what you’re capable of, go out there, and you take this from him.’ In a roundabout way that’s what he said.”

UFC 214 takes place at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Jones vs. Cormier headlines the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Although Jones said he took Silva’s advice to heart, he also knows that he’s an entirely different fighter from the longtime former UFC middleweight champion. He strongly believes Cormier won’t be able to do the same things to him as he did Silva, which is a huge advantage in his mind.

“Anderson Silva’s my idol,” Jones said. “He’s been the guy I’ve respected the most since I was 19 years old and I got into this sport. To hear him have that level of faith in me and pretty much tell me that it’s already done, I just need to go out there and do what I’m capable of. It felt great coming from him. One thing about me and Anderson is my takedown defense is solid, dude. There’s no taking me down if things don’t go your way. There’s definitely no laying on me in half guard the whole time the way that happened.”

Cormier responded to the comments Jones relayed from Silva and essentially brushed them all off as meaningless. He believes the fact Silva lost to him gives him a skewed view of reality.

“It’s good that Anderson called him with advice, but that would almost be like me having Glover Teixeira calling me to tell me how to beat Jon Jones,” Cormier said. “He lost. It’s much easier to give advice about someone you lost to. He doesn’t want to see me win. I beat him. Go get Jon to go do the job he couldn’t do. It doesn’t bother me. I couldn’t really care less if everyone calls him and tells him how he should beat me or how they felt when they were in the octagon with me.”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Jones def. Cormier”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Think ex-UFC champ Jose Aldo is down and out? Check out these messages

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Holloway def. Aldo”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

In the days that have passed since Jose Aldo’s title loss in Saturday’s UFC 212 headliner, the former featherweight kingpin’s countrymen have been taking to social media to issue messages of support.

Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) suffered a third-round TKO loss to Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) in their pay-per-view scrap at Rio de Janeiro’s Jeunesse Arena. While this wasn’t Aldo’s first octagon loss – he suffered a title-costing 13-second knockout to lightweight champ Conor McGregor – it carried the weight of taking place in front of the passionate fans of his adopted home of Rio.

Among those who stepped up to speak on behalf of Aldo’s legacy are colleagues who have felt firsthand the sting of losing UFC gold.

Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, for instance, posted a video on Instagram talking about the importance of family at these times. He went on to say his fellow Brazilian ex-champ, who went on a staggering decade-long undefeated run before the McGregor loss, has “nothing to prove to anyone” (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

His message: “I hope you see this video, Aldo – to tell you that only you and your team know how hard it is. People who are criticizing now, saying you should have done this or that, this type of people have never been punched in the face. They have no idea what they’re talking about. And only the true fans will be by your side now. And you, your wife, your family know your sacrifice. And your coaches. At the end of the day, brother, when you get home and rest your head on your pillow, it’s you, your family, your wife, your daughter. That is your biggest treasure. I’m sending this message to say that you’re an example for many – for me. A great champion, not only in the octagon but in life too. You have nothing to prove to anyone.”

Former middleweight champion and all-time great Anderson Silva was one of the first to issue his support on social media. Silva stressed Aldo’s part as a role model in the sport. Under a picture that featured Aldo’s daughter, Joana, and wife, Viviane Pereira, Silva called his fellow countryman a “giant” and a “hero” (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

His message: “My brother. You are much bigger than any battle. Your story gives us the full assurance that you are a great hero, a great champion, I am and I will always be your fan, brother. What you have most precious goes far beyond. Of course we were all rooting for you and for your victory, but do not cover yourself or let anyone charge you brother, because you are fantastic in what you do and do with love and with your heart. Do not forget who you are and how much you make a difference in this sport. You have changed the lives of many people. You are cause for victory and overcoming by the example that has become. Always keep your head up God is always in control. You are a great champion, no one can take this story from you, no one; battle is won and other losses, but never war. You are a giant, did not come to this world by chance. You are Ze Aldo. Our Ze Aldo. Do not forget brother, GOD bless you always warrior.”

Former UFC interim heavyweight titleholder and current UFC Hall of Famer Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira also used the word “hero” to describe the former 145-pound kingpin (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

His message: “Our warrior. You’re our Brazilian hero, bud.”

Members of the newer octagon generation have also stepped up. Undefeated UFC welterweight Alberto Mina, for instance, published an inspired statement that takes aim at the public’s “ungrateful” attitude toward the fall of the longtime champ.

The message, which featured a “Whomever roots for me, roots for Aldo” hashtag, was shared by fellow UFC up-and-comers such as welterweight Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

His message: “What’s going to happen to us, the ‘new generation of the UFC?’ Once the Brazilian fans can show so much ungratefulness with our champion who spent (and still is) over 10 years at the top? You watch your team lose, get downgraded, and you still root for them. Your favorite singer misses a show, cancels it, gets sick, wakes up with a bad voice or just didn’t sing what you wanted to hear… And then? You’re no longer a fan? What about your politician? Who you carried on your shoulders? Wore his jersey and even fought family members for him…. He let you down and certainly next year you’ll vote for him once again… Our profession is cruel, from hero to villain in the blink of an eye. The fan who can’t understand the greatness of Aldo for us fighters really isn’t apt to push the new generation.”

Check out other messages of support for Aldo:

Pedro Rizzo – Aldo’s coach, heavyweight legend, UFC and PRIDE vet (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

His message: “Everything passes, the bad and the good, what stays is our history and how people will remember you. Your life story is beautiful and victorious, keep writing it. No matter what happens, I’ll always be here, as I’ve always been, by your side and ready for everything.”

Leonardo Santos – UFC lightweight, “TUF: Brazil 2” winner and Aldo’s Nova Uniao teammate

Santos shared a comment from an aspiring fighter who sees the ex-champ as a role model in overcoming his own struggles to make it away from his family, sleeping at a gym, much like Aldo did (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

His message: “Today I had no words to describe something that diminished the pain of the loss for my friend @josealdojunioroficial. Something that made him see how important he is to all of us, how big of a part we play in his life. How much he managed to transform our lives. And just by being him, @josealdojunioroficial! So I got this… An example of how beloved he is and how much he has and still inspires us all.”

Bethe Correia – former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

Her message: “You were a warrior. Eternal people’s champ.”

Gilbert Burns – UFC lightweight (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

His message: “We’re #TeamAldo in victory and defeat. You represent me in and outside of the octagon.”

For more on UFC 212, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie