“Inside the Octagon, there’s no way to really lie. I’ve been fighting my whole career and never tested positive. My conscience is clear. I’ve never purposefully taken any banned substance. I made an error in taking a substance that was contaminated. I never cheated. In this sport, at the end of the day, whoever is best prepared is going to show on that night… I’m very motivated to come back. Over the past two years in my career, I’ve had some bumps in the road and some adversity to overcome. But I’m very motivated, very focused in coming back and bringing this belt back to Brazil. I don’t feel I have to prove anything to anyone. I don’t feel I have any sort of redemption. I feel I’m coming back because I’m motivated to follow my dream. I’m ready to be tested any time. You guys can test me as much as you like.”
-Anderson Silva maintains his stance that he didn’t cheat despite multiple failed drug tests and talks about his return during a media conference call for UFC Fight Night 83 this week (transcribed by ESPN.com).
Penick’s Analysis: This is what Bisping was referring to this week in regards to Silva’s “arrogance” regarding his failed drug tests, but he’s got his story – faulty as it may be – and he’s stuck to it. In a sport like this where so many are suspected of PED use or have been caught already for some type of banned substance, it’s not as if he’s incapable of coming back from it. His image took a hit already, and he’ll rebuild from there, and though it’s unlikely he’s ever looked at in the same light as he was as the long-reigning champion, he’s still one of the greatest fighters to have ever competed in the Octagon. If he beats Bisping and scores another win or two in 2016, it’s entirely possible he’s back fighting for the title sometime in 2017. There’s a lot that still needs to happen there given the two losses to Weidman, the PED failures out of the Nick Diaz fight, and the general layoff issues because of his leg injury and the suspension, but the possibility is there.
[Photo (c) Jayne Kamin-Oncea via USA Today Sports]
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