Silva coach: He's had a lack of motivation
December, 27, 2013
By Brett Okamoto
LAS VEGAS -- Muay Thai instructor Diogenes Assahida has known Anderson Silva for more than a decade and cornered him throughout his legendary career.
It takes him three words to describe what went wrong July 6, when Silva suffered the first loss of his UFC career -- a second-round TKO to Chris Weidman.
“Lack of motivation,” Assahida told ESPN.com, through interpreter Derek Lee.
Assahida, who lives and trains fighters out of Curitiba, Brazil, first observed Silva in the late 1990s in Vale Tudo competition. He would eventually appear in his corner, while Silva was fighting for Cage Rage promotion.
He was part of the Brazilian's camp when he first fought in the UFC, against Chris Leben in 2006. He was in Silva’s corner when he took the middleweight title from Rich Franklin via first-round TKO at UFC 64.
As Silva’s career progressed, Assahida wasn’t able to remain a consistent presence in his camp -- although the two remained in near constant contact.
When Silva meets Weidman for a second time at UFC 168 on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, it will be the first time Assahida has been a full-time member of his camp since he fought Chael Sonnen for the first time in August 2010.
Assahida, who spent the previous six weeks with Silva in Los Angeles, said they've worked on technique but most of their focus has been mental.
“Since he started training in the beginning, he’s always worked hard to be the best -- to be the champion,” Assahida said. “In my personal opinion, I don’t know how much it matters to him to be the champion anymore, but it matters to win this fight.
“I think for a few fights, he’s had a little bit of a lack of motivation. He was tired. His mindset and his focus now look good. I’ve been with him since the beginning of this camp and I am very confident.”