Former Ultimate fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion Anderson Silva broke his leg last December and was forced to ride the pine for all of 2014. In his absence, a lot has changed in the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's 185-pound weight class.
Thanks to a couple of surprise drug tests.
"The Spider" spent over an hour with local media last week to pump up his UFC 183 return against Nick Diaz (watch it), and also fielded questions about the state of the MMA union. Specifically, his thoughts on what UFC should do with fighters caught using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
His words (via MMA Junkie):
"This is not bad for me, this is bad for the sport. People around the world love the UFC, but the kids love the UFC, and the families love UFC. It's bad for the sport. I don't think this is good because the sport can change the lives of the kids and the people in the world. When the guys test for the steroids, it's bad because this is a problem. It's bad not just for the UFC, but for the sport. When the guys test for the steroids, (they should have) no more fights. When you use the steroids, you use them for a long time. When you use the steroids for a long time, you have a problem. It's a drug and it's not good for the sport."
Think about the children!
That's why it came as a surprise to also hear the Brazilian heap praise on Vitor Belfort, who was knocked out by "The Spider" at UFC 126 in early 2011. "The Phenom" will clash with Chris Weidman -- the man behind the Silva leg snap -- in early 2015 for the division title.
From MMA Fighting:
"My personal opinion about Vitor, of all the athletes in the 185-pound weight class, my personal opinion... he's the most complete athlete. He's more explosive, he's got better boxing, good jiu-jitsu, good wrestling."
Brazilians have to stick together, I suppose.
Belfort was one of three men -- alongside Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva -- to get benched by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for not playing by the rules. It was the second time "The Phenom" slipped up in "Sin City," having previously failed for steroids back in 2006.
Water under the bridge? Maybe for Silva. How about you?