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Fox Sports: "Zach Arnold's Fight Opinion site is one of the best spots on the Web for thought-provoking MMA pieces."

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Kevin Iole on Anderson Silva as “The Jerk”

By Zach Arnold | August 4, 2010

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I laughed when I saw the title of this video initially on Youtube as “IOLESilvadick,” because that’s about as short of a summary as you could create to describe the sentiments being relayed in this video conversation with the Cagewriter/Yahoo Sports team.

Transcript of the conversation available in full-page mode.

STEVE COFIELD: “There was a hell of a teleconference the other day. We know that Chael Sonnen can talk and Anderson Silva can as well, but he chooses not to most of the time. What was your read on, you know I wrote a really critical piece of Anderson and a lot of people kind of slammed him.”

KEVIN IOLE: “I personally think that Anderson was being a total jerk. I mean, a complete, utter jerk, that’s what he was being. Let’s call it like it is. And, you know, because he was giving one-word answers, he was being condescending, you know for the longest time I thought Anderson Silva was a nice guy, a friendly guy, really was hoping that you know he would learn English so that he could communicate that to the fans of MMA who really don’t know him as well as maybe they’d like to and like they do other fighters like Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, and you know guys like that. But you know but he was a jerk on that conference call, you know he’s maybe put off by the way Chael Sonnen has you know yapped, but other fighters have talked a lot and Anderson hasn’t responded that way. But I thought he was a complete imbecile, what he did, and you know he’s turned a lot of people against him.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Well, I think it’s not only turning people against him but as I wrote, there’s a lot of people who have no idea who he is because part of your role as a fighter, you know we talked so much on the boxing side about Floyd Mayweather. Love him or hate him, you probably you know pick one side, there’s a people who are just kind of ambivalent and you know the casual fight fan has no idea or the non-MMA fan has no idea who he is and how can that be? I mean, he has this massive winning streak. He’s unbelievable. I mean, we’re not ripping his fighting ability. He is great.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Yeah, I mean, I ripped his performance at UFC 112 in particular. You know, you can, I didn’t like his fights at UFC 90 or UFC 97 against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites respectively, but you can explain those in the context of strategy in a fight and not every fight is going to be a tremendous, you know, action, knock-down, drag-out brawl. So, you know you can explain those. But there’s no explanation for what he did against Demian Maia. He was far better than Demian Maia, a far more talented, and it was a fight that he could have ended it pretty much on his call. Just step it up a little bit, combination here and there, he gets rid of Demian Maia. Instead, you know and I was in Abu Dhabi for the fight, you know he’s shaking his rear end, he’s jumping behind the referee, he’s slapping the mat, he’s talking a lot, you know sticking his chin out but he wasn’t fighting and you know people aren’t paying to see Anderson Silva posing in the ring. People are paying to see Anderson Silva knock somebody out and he complains about his money, he complains that he wants to get paid more. Well, guess what? You get paid more by performing and making people want to see you and if you win boring decisions and if you don’t fight and jump behind the referee, people don’t want to see you fight any more and you don’t make any more money.”

STEVE COFIELD: “So, one of the other things that I wrote at the end of the critique of the press conference was, I don’t know, I see this going in a bad direction. His attitude with Dana White, you know, I don’t think he’s a guy you want to cross. I don’t think he’s a guy you want to start a war with. He’s not afraid to boot guys out and I guess it would be unreal to not have Anderson Silva, maybe the best fighter in the world, but if he continues to stay stuff like ‘Dana can say whatever he wants’ and doesn’t show constitution, could this guy be on the outside-looking-in in two years and trying to make money abroad somewhere else against lesser guys?”

KEVIN IOLE: “Well… I don’t think the fighters should have to kiss Dana’s butt, let’s say that. I don’t think they should have to come out say ‘Dana’s the greatest.’ Hey, say what you think. You know, Dana says what he thinks and I think the fighters should be able to say what they think, but their job is two-fold: number one, to fight in the cage. More than anything else, you know, more than doing interviews with us, more than signing autographs for the fans, it’s when they lock that door to get in there and bring it all and give it all. And… Anderson Silva has done that for the most part in his UFC career. You know, again, 112 was a real big aberration, you know, some people to point to 90 and 97, you know we can debate those points, but you know certainly 112 is it. Dana, I think there’s a burden on Dana on this, not because of Anderson saying ‘Dana can say what he wants,’ because he’s said that at press conferences. At Abu Dhabi he said that. Dana was critical of him and Anderson was sitting to Dana’s right and Anderson said, hey, he has his opinion, I have mine. But if he fights the same way that he did in Abu Dhabi, if he doesn’t you know go after Chael Sonnen and he’s a counter-striker to a large degree, you know but if he doesn’t try to finish the fight when he has chances, if he doesn’t engage a lot period, if he runs around the ring and doesn’t, who was the fighter against Nate Quarry that ran around the ring the whole time…”

STEVE COFIELD: “Kalib Starnes.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Kalib Starnes, yeah, if he does that, you know then I think you know Dana will make the hard decision and it won’t be too hard for him because he’ll be so fuming you know he’ll gas him but I think as long as Anderson shows up and fights and does his job, win or lose, I don’t think he has to win the fight to keep his job, I just think that he has to fight.”

STEVE COFIELD: “Last on that teleconference, and listen, I’m not always spot-on from what I pull out of press conferences and teleconferences, I will go more the negative direction more often than not, but I also ignore certain things that are said because they’re said so often that you learn as a veteran member of the media that it’s silly. Anderson Silva saying now that he’s going to stay at 85 for the rest of his career. I’m sorry, I don’t find it newsworthy. It may make for a good headline, but I think it’s ridiculous.”

KEVIN IOLE: “Well, you know, you can call him on it and you get a history. He said it, we quote him on it, you’re saying you’re staying at 185, do we believe it? No. I mean, Anderson Silva, as he said before, he’s fighting for the biggest pay day possible. Well, you know, at some point the biggest pay day possible is not going to be at 185 pounds. You know, maybe… you know when I was in Abu Dhabi, he talked about dropping to 170, he was the Shooto champion at 167, you know, so he’s made it before. If he can make it, you know, maybe fight GSP at 170? If not, go to 205 where there’s a lot of big names, a lot of good fights, and you know you’ll make a ton of money. I mean, if Shogun, let’s say for the sake of argument that Mauricio Shogun Rua defeats Rashad Evans when they fight next Spring, whenever that fight might happen, Shogun’s recovering from knee surgery, and so the wins against Sonnen and maybe Vitor Belfort, you know don’t you think it would be a massive fight to put Anderson Silva up against Shogun Rua? I mean, I think it would be one of the biggest fights in UFC history. So, you know, he’s not going to walk away from that. What he says now is what he’s saying now. I think his actions have proven throughout the years that he’s going to make the right move and the right move in that case would be to move up to 205.”

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 14 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

14 Responses to “Kevin Iole on Anderson Silva as “The Jerk””

  1. Chris says:

    Great stuff. Iole sounds like a jilted lover.

  2. David M says:

    A part of me hopes Anderson keeps fighting like this and winning, because if Dana releases the guy who he has repeatedly called the best fighter in the world, it makes him look like a total jackass. I wonder if even an egomaniac like Dana White has balls enough to do that.

    Fighters don’t have a duty to entertain; they have a duty to fight and protect themselves. This isn’t pro wrestling, and Dana can’t force someone to take unnecessary risks to entertain the masses and sacrifice his (Anderson’s) health/chances of winning in the process.

    Good for Anderson. Until another fighter forces him to take risks, why shouldn’t he take as little damage as possible and coast?

    • Boba says:

      David M.. you are sooo right!! I wish more “fight boy fans” used their brains. Anderson Silva’s job is to fight, win and stay healthy. He is not obligated to ” fight how the “fans” want him to fight. I swear, these people who piss and moan are just spoiled because they aren’t getting their way. If they don’t like it, they can piss off or better yet, lace up some glves and Fight i na cage themselves.

  3. EJ says:

    Never doubt what Dana will and won’t do, he’s shown that in the end he’ll protect the shield over any 1 egotistical and delusional fighter.

    There is zero question in my mind that if Anderson ever pulls another UFC 112 stunt again he’s done with the UFC. But it won’t come to that because Sonnen is going to make him fight and I can’t wait to see it.

  4. robthom says:

    I always thought anderson seemed like a jerk.

    At least ever since his murican competition phase when I started to pay him more attention.

    I’m not sure how anybody would get a much different impression, let alone think he’s a “nice guy”.

    He’s a great fighter though, so like David M says he doesn’t have to be friendly.

    Like a pretty girl he’s got a funky attitude because he can.

    I sure hope he has a brain fart and agrees to fight Shogun one day so that we can watch him recieve attitude surgery.

  5. David M says:

    Shogun v Anderson would be great. Shogun is a real gritty fighter with lots of talent; he is fast, hits hard, has excellent kicks, good takedowns, and good subs. However, when I think about this fight, I think back to Shogun getting outboxed by lil Nog and having to resort to takedowns to win the fight. If lil Nog can outstrike him, Anderson will make him look stupid, and Anderson would probably use Shogun’s aggression against him, and knock him out brutally.

    • robthom says:

      I haven’t watched the Nog/Shogun fight in a few years. Did Nog really outbox him? I’ll have to check it out again.

      More recently I would consider his two fights with Lyoto.

      He’s wasn’t blindly aggresive when it wasn’t a good strategy. And he outstruck the faster fighter (twice) with clean, solid and patient technique.

      Maybe anderson would beat him, anybody might win when you’ve got 2 greats. But if anderson is so bored at 185 that he cant even be bothered to engage he should seek out that heat IMO. The same way he wants to fight RJJ.

      He wont be fooling around and practicing his Charlie Chaplin routines against jackson, Shogun, little Nog, Jones, etc. He’ll be forced to kill of be killed from bell to bell.
      Like it should be.

      I consider Dana also to blame for not forcing him to do that long before now.

      Dana seems to want to keep anderson in the Mylar pouch and not risk soiling the “worlds best middleweight” for his own bragging rights or whatever.

      It would seem to me to be a lot better idea to throw anderson back in the shark tank then to fire a great fighter and dominant titleholder because of clashing ego’s.

  6. Zack says:

    It’s funny when people were referring to Anderson as being humble. Did people forget the Michael Jackson entrance or is everyone really that much of a noob?

    • Dave says:

      Since when is being a showman mean you aren’t a nice or humble person? If in interviews he just talked about how he was unstoppable, the best ever, has no flaws… THAT would be a solid argument, but he always talks about how he is flawed and can be beaten, etc.

  7. Boba says:

    sooo, your brain dead logic says that Anderson silva isn\’t \”humble\” because he danced like Michael Jackson? That is the most stupid f%$&ing logic i\’ve ever heard. What he did there was flamboyant… Being flamboyant has nothing to do with humility.

  8. aim says:

    Iole shouldn’t talk on mic. Once again he sets the record for most “you know’s” in the shortest amount of time. I counted at least 32 during this small session.

    Its funny, usually the athletes stick with the canned classic phrases & cliches, who would of guessed that a writer would also be guilty of it…you know?

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