Certain members of the Brazilian taekwondo squad weren't warm to the idea of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight champion, Anderson Silva, attempting to get on the team for the 2016 Olympic games.
Not only because they believe "The Spider's" dreams are nothing but a "joke," but also because the mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter could get "embarrassed' if he doesn't take it seriously.
That's something not lost on Anderson, as he tells MMA Fighting that he is willing to go through that embarrassment for the sake of potentially competing in the Olympics and giving back to taekwondo. But it's not like Silva is a novice in the discipline, either, as he says he's been training in the art since he was 17 years old.
"I stopped training taekwondo when I was 17 so it's going to be tough, because taekwondo is very different today. I'm not worried about being embarrassed by the other athletes. For everything the sport gave to me, I will try to give it back. I don't have anything to prove. I'm here to help the sport and make it stronger. I never stopped training and watching the sport. I always used taekwondo kicks in my MMA fights, but now I have to train taekwondo only and adapt myself. It's another challenge I have to face, and I'm willing to get embarrassed for it."
Of course, getting on the team is the first obstacle, as Carlos Fernandes, president of the Brazilian Taekwondo Federation, made it very clear that Silva will have to earn enough points during tryouts -- which begin in January of 2016 -- to make the squad and won't simply get on based on who he is and what he's done in MMA.
The second mountain to climb, of course, is waiting to see what comes out of Silva's failed drug tests and whether or not the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) will do anything to prevent him from trying out.
If that happens to be the case, Silva will abide.
"About the commission trying to stop me from competing in the games, I don't know if that would happen because it's completely different. But if they stop me, I would respect it. I respect the whole process that is happening. The hearing was delayed again, but I didn't ask for it. My lawyers asked for it, and I don't know what happened. I still don't know what happened. People ask me why I don't talk about it, but I can't talk about something I don't understand. My doctors and lawyers will wait for the commission and then we will see what happens."
According to some, the NSAC isn't opposed to going out of its jurisdiction to punish fighters.
As far as the whole "marketing" angle, while some may be opposed to it, Fernandes sees Silva trying out and potentially making the team as "winning the lottery," because a high-profile athlete such as himself would do wonders in bringing attention to the country and the sport when the games touch down in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next summer.
He isn't wrong.