For a fighter who was once considered to be one of the most dangerous and risky fights to take in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight division, things haven't been so peachy for Thiago Silva over the last two years.
Before suffering a unanimous decision loss to rising star Alexander Gustafsson this past April at UFC on Fuel TV: "Gustafsson vs. Silva" in Stockholm, Sweden, Thiago had his win over Brandon Vera at UFC 125 overturned to a no-contest (NC) and was suspended for a year after it was discovered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) he had used a urine adulterant to cover up what would have been some hot piss.
Prior to those set of circumstances, Silva had dropped another decision loss, this time to former UFC 205-pound champion, Rashad Evans, at UFC 108.
But, that was then and this is now and the scrappy Brazilian is ready to return to the Octagon (and to the win column) with the help of a new training camp in the form of The Blackzilians, which is quickly becoming one of the most prominent mixed martial arts (MMA) camps around, housing heavy-hitters such as Alistair Overeem, Rashad Evans and Tyrone Spong, among others.
Speaking to UFC.com, Thiago reflects on his decision not make the move from American Top Team (ATT) over to The Blackzilians and why he feels the move will prove fruitful results for his career moving forward:
"I've been lucky to always be able to train with high level fighters, and I can say that this has helped my confidence because I know that my training is always harder than the actual fight. My motto is train hard, win easy. Training with the Blackzilians was the best choice I've ever made. They have a great training structure and a great team of coaches; that makes all the difference."
Of course, once the cage door slams shut, it will be Silva doing all the work against undefeated prospect Stanislav Nedkov this weekend (Nov. 10 2012) at UFC on FUEL TV 6: "Franklin vs. Lee" in China, who made an impressive UFC debut at UFC 134 when he knocked out Luiz Cane in Brazil.
Though Thiago admits he doesn't like traveling so far to fight, a win, which results in more money, will be the only thing that matters at the end of the day and fans can expect to see the usual aggressive fighter:
"He's a tough fighter. But I've fought fighters just as tough as him, so I'll be ready for this fight. I don't like traveling, but this is my job and I'll go wherever I need to. Winning and losing is part of the job. The only feeling I have when I win is that of relief, because I know I will get more money. I'm ready to fight. I want to put on a good fight and win. And as always, the fans can expect an aggressive and daring Thiago."
How about it Maniacs, what do you expect from Silva this weekend? Can he return to his previous form against a very dangerous Nedkov and find the win column again? Or will the Bulgarian make it two for two against dangerous Brazilian strikers?