Dealing with another injury was tough, but 'Britishzilian' Claudio Silva kept body and mind in check

LONDON – When Claudio Silva stepped into the cage in Liverpool last May, he carried with him the weight of a three-and-a-half-year layoff and all the doubts that came with it.

Silva took no notice of it, though, upsetting Nordine Taleb with a first-round submission. Things seemed to be finally getting back on track in Silva’s career, but then another hurdle: Injury struck again, forcing Silva out of a scheduled UFC Fight Night 136 meeting last November.

Was it tough to overcome adversity so brilliantly only to be faced with more waiting? “Absolutely,” Silva said. But, after going through the ringer in his first injury layoff, he didn’t let this one get to him.

“It was tough, you know, but I keep my mind focused,” Silva told MMA Junkie during a media day today in London. “I say, ‘Man, this is a high-intensity, high-impact sport. There’s no technology that can prevent injury. So what do I’ve got to do? It is what it is, at the end of the day. You have to have a strong mind, make sure you get recovered.

“Right now, I’m listening to my body. I don’t have that mentality anymore, like ‘I’m a super tough guy, I do whatever.’ If I feel my body, I just have an easy day, I have a break. Because I don’t want to cancel fights for injuries anymore, you know.”

Thankfully, this one didn’t keep Brazil’s “Hannibal” out of action for  too long. Silva returns to meet Danny Roberts this Saturday, at UFC on ESPN+ 5, 10 months after his last fight. The welterweight main card bout streams on ESPN+, like the rest of the card.

And it probably didn’t hurt that the he had those extra $50,000 for his “Performance of the Night” efforts over Taleb – which we only mention so you can get this free lesson in finances.

“Of course, (the money makes it) easier,” Silva said. “But you’ve got to be smart and wise in order to know how to deal with the money. Most people, they think ‘I have a lot of money on my bank account.’ But they don’t have money coming in. And they got broke. You’ve got to be smart and make money work for you. You cannot be in the rat trap, like make money, then lose everything and then try to get money again. You have to be smart.”

Silva was already sort of at home when he competed in Liverpool, as a self-proclaimed “Britishzilian.” This time, however, “home” takes on a new meeting, as the Brazilian native can actually see The O2 from the window of his house, located just across the road.

Had Silva (12-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC) been scheduled to fight, say, a fellow Brazilian, he would have probably been able to count on the hospitality the English crowd reserves to their home fighters. But the fact that he’s fighting London’s own Danny Roberts (16-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) will probably mean he’s still the bad guy coming in.

But Silva isn’t too fazed by that. Regardless of the surroundings, his job is to go in there and fight. Not to mention that, if he does it right, he’ll find a way to get the crowd on his side.

“If the crowd is on my favor, that would be amazing,” Silva said. “If not, it’s one more day at the office. I don’t mind. At the end of the day, I’m not going to fight against the crowd, I’m going to fight against my opponent. By the end of the fight, the crowd will love me. As always.”

To hear more from Silva, check out the video above.

And for more on UFC on ESPN+ 5, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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