Brazilian MMA legends Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira and his twin brother Antonio Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira both had high praise for their friend and long-time training partner Anderson Silva.
Anderson Silva, the former long-time UFC middleweight champion and future hall of famer, appeared in what is said to be his last UFC fight at UFC Vegas 12, losing to Uriah Hall via fourth-round TKO.
It was a painful exit for the 45-year old Anderson Silva, who had long been considered as one of the UFC’s best fighters ever.
For Minotauro, a former PRIDE FC and UFC titleholder and Brazilian MMA legend in his own right, what Anderson Silva has done for the sport of MMA is comparable to what other legends like Pelé and Michael Jordan have done for their own respective sports as well.
“In the sports legacy, I think he is Pelé. I think we can compare well what Pelé did in football and what Anderson did for our sport. Anderson is what Michael Jordan was in basketball, what [Gustavo Kuerten] was in tennis,” Nogueira said in an interview with AG Fight.
‘Big Nog’ also explained how Silva impacted MMA not just on a national level, but also on a global scale.
“He had this importance for MMA, not only national, but worldwide, for the sport. Because the UFC, when it had that visibility (in Brazil) in 2007 or 2008 until 2013, it was eight years of legacy, with different strokes, knockouts, a whole story that was told in his life.”
“The guy is an icon, that way of him. His celebration is different, even his little dance is different, his stare made history, so, in all senses, I think he will become an icon of the sport,” Minotauro conluded.
Rodrigo Minotauro’s twin brother Rogerio Minotouro echoed those sentiments in the same interview, also comparing Anderson Silva to other sporting greats, and calling The Spider and idol in Brazilian sports.
“The feeling is that he left a very great legacy in the sport. If I were to compare, I would compare Anderson Silva with Pelé, Ayrton Senna, Guga,” Minotouro said. “The Brazilian needs a champion, an idol, and Anderson has long been an idol of Brazil in sports.”
“He was a different guy. I put it as the best ever. He was always very respectful with words, and at the same time, very bold inside the octagon. Respectful in the interviews, he did not do the trash talk, but inside the ring, he was irreverent, took a wave, let his guard down, he made his opponent feel like a white belt in front of him,” added Minotouro, who also enjoyed standout runs in PRIDE FC and the UFC as well.
“He was a guy who dominated the category for almost ten years, if I remember correctly eight years, in a category that was one of the most disputed in the UFC. He beat big names. I think the UFC has never had a champion as absolute as him,” Minotouro concluded.
Anderson Silva’s place among Brazilian MMA legends
Brazil and MMA will seemingly always go hand-in-hand because of the number of Brazilians who have excelled in the sport.
From Royce Gracie, to the Shogun and Wanderlei Silva and the Nogueiras, to the Jose Aldo and Amanda Nunes and so on, Brazilians will seemingly always be a big part of MMA.
This is why Anderson Silva, who is widely regarded as the best Brazilian to ever enter the Octagon, will leave a legacy that will likely be unmatched.
The Curitiba-native ruled over not just the middleweight division, but the UFC from 2006 to 2013 and situated himself atop every pound-for-pound list.
Indeed, Anderson Silva should be mentioned in MMA the way people talk about Pelé in football and Michael Jordan in basketball.Published 03 Nov 2020, 07:36 IST