Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010 | 11 p.m.
- Anderson Silva's fighting philosophy
In preparation for his upcoming title fight Aug. 7 against Chael Sonnen, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva spent a lot of time training at the Black House gym in Los Angeles.
While there, Silva (26-4) worked closely with Southern California-based middleweight Mark Munoz.
Munoz, who's fought professionally for just three years, said Silva shared a lot of his knowledge on the sport during their time together — including Silva's philosophy on fighting in the UFC octagon.
It's a conversation Munoz now refers to as his "Bruce Lee moment" with the world's best mixed martial artist.
"He took me through a Muay Thai workout where he was holding the pads," Munoz said. "After he did that, he took off the mitts and knelt down in the middle of the cage at Black House and motioned for me to kneel down.
"So we knelt down face to face and he goes, 'Mark, you no fight. You play, OK? Play, happy, fun. You play — you win.' He was basically saying be calm in the octagon, and I don't have to go in there angry."
Silva has been marred with controversy in a number of his recent fights.
After fairly uneventful meetings against Patrik Cote and Thales Leites in which Silva didn't press the action as he typically had in previous fights, the situation reached its peak at an April event in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
During a main-event fight against Demian Maia at UFC 112, Silva danced around the octagon for extended periods of time, punching himself in the face and refusing to engage with his opponent.
Although Sivla won by decision, the fight angered UFC President Dana White enough that he left the arena before it ended and threatened to cut Silva from the organization if he repeated the performance.
Silva's antics have led some to believe he's bored with the 185-pound division and doesn't respect his competition.
Munoz, however, doesn't feel that's the case and said, based on his experience with the champ, Silva is a compassionate fighter both in the cage and out.
And no matter how Silva acts during his title fight Saturday against Sonnen, those closest to him know that it's all for the sake of enjoying himself.
"He's an awesome fighter but even more importantly, I saw what type of person he is outside of MMA," Munoz said. "He treats people awesome. He's a very friendly person, very compassionate.
"To see how he treats his training partners and his coaches, everybody loves him."