Thiago Silva came into the UFC with a bang, reeling off four straight victories against James Irvin, Tomasz Drwal, Houston Alexander and Antonio Mendes, all ending in the first two rounds. Then came the toughest test of Thiago's career when he entered the Octagon to take on fellow undefeated, Brazilian Light-Heavyweight, Lyoto Machida.
Thiago left the cage with the first loss on his record and a learning experience that clearly made him a better fighter as the tough and experienced Keith Jardine learned last month at UFC 102.
The "Dean of Mean" holds victories over former UFC Champions Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin and lost a narrow decision to another former champ, Rampage Jackson.
He was no match for the new and improved Thiago, who knocked him out in one minute and thirty-five seconds of the first round. The victory puts the talented fighter right back in the mix in UFC's Light-Heavyweight division. Thiago sat down with us to talk about his career and what he did to prepare for his stellar performance against Jardine.
[ Larry Pepe ] You suffered the first loss of your career when you fought Lyoto Machida at UFC 94. What do you think went wrong in the fight?
[ Thiago Silva ] I was too heavy and I came in with the wrong strategy.
[ LP ] What are your impressions of Machida?
[ TS ] He is a good fighter and has a lot of good qualities. To properly fight him you need to study him very well.
[ LP ] How would you approach a rematch with him?
[ TS ] I would study him a whole lot better than I did the first time and I will stick to my strategy.
[ LP ] You suffered a pretty brutal knockout in that fight. A lot of fighters have trouble coming back after a loss like that but you looked great in your fight with Keith Jardine at UFC 102. Why do you think you were able to put it behind you and have such a great performance when so many other fighters never get over a knockout like that?
[ TS ] MMA fighting is all part of a mentality; what doesn't kill you, fortifies you. You learn after a loss, and come back stronger. It also helps when you take supplements from a strong line of products!
[ LP ] You ended up knocking out Jardine in 1:35. Did the fight go the way you thought it would go or were you surprised at how quickly you finished him?
[ TS ] I was ready to fight 3 rounds. It was a surprise that it went so fast?it means a job well done.
[ LP ] Were you surprised that you were an underdog coming into the fight even though you only had one loss in your entire career?
[ TS ] I have no control over people's opinions and beliefs. All I care about is winning. That is one of the reason's I'm excited to be teamed up with Ultimate Nutrition. They have the same motto as me. Don't Just Believe. Become. If you are stuck up in beliefs, you will never become the best fighter out there.
[ LP ] You're a very well rounded fighter with vicious standup and serious Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills. What belts and titles do you hold?
[ TS ] I am a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. I have been training Muay Thai for over 8 years. I don't hold a lot of titles outside of MMA.
[ LP ] Do you prefer standing up or the ground game? If you could finish an opponent by strikes or submission, which do you prefer?
[ TS ] I like the fight where ever it goes, standing or on the ground. As long as I win, I don't care where it is.
[ LP ] UFC 102 was the promotion's first event in Portland. What did you think about the event and the reaction of the fans who attended?
[ TS ] The event was great, the fights were awesome, the crowd was really into it!
[ LP ] The UFC 102 Countdown show told the story of how you had a very tough childhood, and how you grew up in a rough area of Brazil.
[ TS ] It makes me give more value to things. Having a rough past makes you appreciate your accomplishments so much more.
[ LP ] How did that contribute to you getting into MMA?
[ TS ] I was just born to fight. Coming from a tough background makes you tougher.
[ LP ] How does that past help you as a fighter today?
[ TS ] It makes me more determined to get over obstacles.
[ LP ] How much do you weigh when not preparing for a fight?
[ TS ] 225 lbs.
[ LP ] How long before a fight do you start dieting to bring your weight down?
[ TS ] 2 months. Before then, I take the Full Combat Mass Gaining Powder.
[ LP ] Please outline a sample day of eating for you. Let us know what you eat at each meal, including any protein drinks or bars that you include in your plan.
[ TS ] I get up early to have a balanced breakfast before training. It is essential in my training that I start my day with protein and simple carbohydrates.
Right before I workout, I take Pre Combat Powder to take my training to the next level. After training, I have a Protein Combat Powder shake and take a nap. When I wake up, I have lunch and then go back and train. After the 2nd training session, I take Post Combat Powder and then take another nap. When I wake, I go back and have a 3rd training session followed by a light dinner and another Protein Combat Powder shake.
[ LP ] The Jardine fight was your first fight after using the Full Combat line of supplements. How did the supplements help you? What was different in this fight because of the products?
[ TS ] I definitely saw a boost in my performance. The Pre Combat Powder helped my intensity and focused my training. The Post Combat Powder helped my recovery with the great blend of glutamine and creatine. The Protein Combat Powder helped me because of the time release amino acid profile. It also has great essential fatty acids that gives me more energy, especially during grappling.
[ LP ] Give the fans an idea of how you train to prepare for a fight. For example, how often do you weight train and what do you do? How often do you train striking, jiu jitsu and other disciplines?
[ TS ] I try to train 3 times a day, physical training at least 4 times a week. The rest I spread out between striking, grappling, and MMA where I mixed it all up.
[ LP ] How much cardiovascular training do you do when preparing for a fight?
[ TS ] I do a lot of aerobic work to the point that I'm sure I will have proper cardio for the fight.
[ LP ] Is there a website where people can keep current on your career going forward?
[ TS ] www.full-combat.com - This great site will be updating all my fans on what is going on with me!
[ LP ] Where can people find the line of products you use for maximum performance?
[ TS ] Full-combat.com and Bodybuilding.com.
[ LP ] Anybody else that you'd like to thank before we wrap this up?
[ TS ] First and foremost, I'd like to thank my team. Without them I would be lost. American Top Team, my fans, and my wife. I would also like to thank Ultimate Nutrition Full Combat. This product line helped me gain the advantage in my last fight... wait until you see what's in store for my next fight!