The effect of “ring rust” on a fighter or athlete in general has been debated for years with some feeling as though any extended absence from competition can be detrimental to performance with others believing the length of a break doesn’t matter as long as training has been constant. UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva is among the other group.
Silva hasn’t fought since January 2011 after being suspended for doctoring his urine sample to mask steroid use leading up to a bout with Brandon Vera. Having since completed his yearlong suspension, the 29-year old Brazilian is ready to make his return to the ring and will do so next month against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC on Fuel 2.
“The fact that I have not fought in a year will not affect me at all,” said Silva in an interview with LowKick. “I have been rehabilitating my injuries and training harder than ever to prove that I am one of the best fighters in the world. I am ready and healthy. April 14 in Sweden will be an amazing night!”
The evening will indeed be historic if for no other reason the card marking the UFC’s first show in Sweden where Gustafsson also happens to hail from. However, similarly to the minimal impact he feels his time off will have, Silva is also confident in his ability to take “The Mauler” out in his own backyard.
“I’m excited by the challenge of fighting Gustafsson in his home country. I fear no one and plan on fighting a fast paced and aggressive fight that will entertain the fans,” explained Silva. “My prediction is that I will fight hard like a true warrior. Everybody knows my style. When I step in the Octagon, I go to kill or die, and I will do the same on April 14, and I will be ten times more aggressive because this fight is very important for me.”
The 14-2 Silva also added victory is crucial in his case after not having been able to provide for his family since being suspended.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Silva is definitely a monster while healthy and I’m willing to believe his original statements about steroid use as a means of healing from a severe back injury rather than doing so to add size/speed. Everyone deserves a second chance and he is no different, especially considering the acceptance other former steroid users like Stephan Bonnar and Chris Leben have received. I’m not sure he’ll beat Gustafsson but I think he has more of a chance to do so than original opponent Antonio Rogerio Nogueira did.