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Steve Cofield

Silva and his band of merry men are getting serious for Leites

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

Anderson Silva really does want to be a boxer. Well, sort of. With an entourage at least a dozen strong at today's UFC 97 workout day in Montreal, he had the look of a Floyd Mayweather Jr. or Mike Tyson. One big difference, Silva's crew wasn't filled with a bunch of flunkies in charge of counting his money, wiping his brow, doing his laundy or driving his whips. The crew all sporting warmup suits that read, "Anderson Silva's Muay Thai College Producing World Class Martial Artists," went through 90 minutes of workouts with the UFC's middleweight champ.

That's an insane amount of time spent working out with the media present. Most fighters will go through a 5-10 minute warmup but Silva and Co. pushed hard for more than an hour. The crew included fighters like Andre Galvao and Rafael Cavalcante. When Silva finally met with the media, he was relaxed as always and clowning his translator Ed Soares.

Silva's long workout appeared to irk some of the other stars on the card. Chuck Liddell, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua and Thales Leites were all forced to adjust their schedule or simply not work out in the assigned workout rooms in the afternoon.

Soares explained to the Canadian Press why the group was so big:

"Anderson likes to be around his friends and Anderson likes to be joking and laughing," said Soares.

Silva was asked about his odd performance at UFC 90 against Patrick Cote. "The Spider" was on his horse for the first two rounds and seem more interested in showing off his defensive skills. Silva disagreed:

"I don't care if people forget about the Patrick Cote fight. Patrick Cote got beat up for 2 1/2 rounds," he said.

Soares said critics need to watch the fight again:

"He was dominating him. He was trying to bait Cote into making a mistake so he could capitalize on it, but Cote held his ground. On top of it, he (Cote) took some shots ... A lot of middleweights would have been knocked out by those knees, kicks and punches that Cote took. "

Soares says not every fight is going to be a quick finish:

"He's got this reputation now of just being a killer, and people are just expecting him to come out and knock everyone's head off. And you know, in an ideal world for us, we'd love it like that too. But sometimes it doesn't happen that way."

Silva, who just turned 34, also addressed some of the retirement talk that came up before the Cote fight. He said he respects challenger Thales Leites in spite of the fact that he's roughly a 5-to-1 favorite. When asked about what comes next if he wins, Silva said he had no thoughts on a potential superfight with UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre.

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