Throughout his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, Anderson Silva has repeatedly stated that he would never fight his friends and training partners, Lyoto Machida and Ronaldo Souza.
In fact, the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion would rather avoid fighting any of his fellow Brazilian fighters altogether, sans Vitor Belfort, and has often declared that he would step aside and give "The Dragon" and "Jacare" a chance to achieve their own championship aspirations.
Unfortunately, his buddies don't share the same sentiment, as Machida and Souza have stated that they would be open to fighting "The Spider" if it was for the strap. Albeit reluctantly. When asked if he gets upset when his "friends" say they are okay with fighting him, Silva was none too pleased.
Check out the comments he offered up during a recent UFC 183 conference call (full video replay here):
"Yeah, absolutely (it bothers me). Because I go train with those guys I go to help them. I put my 50-percent energy to help the guys. When the guys talk this, I am very, very, very disappointed."
Call me crazy, but getting on Silva's bad side probably isn't the wisest thing to do.
UFC President Dana White recently stated that if Silva gets through Nick Diaz when the two collide at UFC 183 on Jan. 31, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada, he would earn himself the opportunity to regain his strap.
And though Silva was adamant in the past that the title was no longer his objective, he says he would fulfill his duties as a UFC employee and fight for the belt if that is what's asked of him. Still, he stands firm in his stance that he won't do it against any Brazilian ... especially a friend.
"I work for UFC, I am a part of the UFC family. So if Dana's decision that I go fight (for the title), I prepare to fight. This is not a good question for me, it's a good question for Dana. Jacare is my friend, Lyoto is my friend. The guys don't talk the same for me. When I talk to the media, I say, 'I no fight Lyoto because he is my friend. I don't go fight with Jacare because he is my friend.' But when they go talk to the media, Lyoto say, 'I go fight for Anderson because I go fight.' Jacare say, 'I go fight, because I am a fighter.' But, my opinion, I don't like the position for Lyoto and Jacare. I don't go fight these guys because I train Lyoto for a long time and sometimes I train with Jacare. But, Dana give me chance for the belt, I go fight for the belt. But, I don't want to fight a Brazilian guy."
As it stands, Silva is winless (0-2) against the current title holder, Chris Wiedman, so a fight and victory against the champ would be a good way to get some much-needed revenge.
But, should "All American" cough up his title against Vitor Belfort at UFC 184 next month, a rematch against "The Phenom" might be the only exception (here's why) before he's put in a can't-win position to fight his Brazilian friends.
Of course, Silva's title fight is far from guaranteed. He still has a tough obstacle to overcome in form of the Stockton slugger.