UFC legend Anderson Silva has revealed who his boxing heroes are with Muhammad Ali and Roy Jones Jr getting a special mention from the legendary Brazilian ‘Spider’ – but there was no room for Mike Tyson.
Silva, 45, joined the UFC in June 2006 but despite being a part of the promotion for almost 15 years, the former UFC middleweight champion found himself released from his contract in November 2020.
The Brazilian started his MMA career at Brazilian Freestyle Circuit before moving to Shooto Association. He was at the Japanese promotion for little more than five months before moving to Pride Fighting Championships, then Cage Rage Championships and then finally the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Silva (34-11, 1 NC) swapped the Octagon for the boxing ring earlier in the year.
In an exclusive interview with GIVEMESPORT, Silva revealed he had been studying the sport through YouTube documentaries while in camp preparing for his fight with Julio Cesar Chavez Jr, June 19, which took place in Guadalajara, Mexico.
“I’ve watched a lot of videos about boxing but the ones that I love the most are the ones with Sugar Ray Leonard.
“He’s so amazing, it’s fantastic, you know, how much knowledge you can absorb from a video, and see how much this man changed the world, you know?
“I love his style, he changed the way people fight, with his movement, his speed, his power.”
Silva also captured the middleweight title in both Shooto and Cage Rage and the Brazilian also credits his sons with helping him to stay motivated as he goes back to his roots.
“Every single day, I learn a different technique, I learn more and more each and every single day, and for me the most important thing right now is to enjoy the moment,” he added.
“I love what I do, I’m lucky to be able to do what I do. I want to learn as much as I can in terms of the different techniques and more experiences.
“My sparring is good, I’m still active. I train with good guys, my sons Gabriel and Kalyl. They’re amazing, they help me so much, their passion, their knowledge. And uh, yeah, everything’s good. Everything’s amazing. I learn a lot.”