After holding onto the UFC Middleweight Championship belt for a remarkable 2,458 days, Anderson Silva nearly lost it all with one, solid left hook to the face from Chris Weidman at UFC 162. Twitter blew up with people claiming that Silva's arrogant style had finally caught up with him while The Spider briefly questioned his future in the sport. But all of that talk was a thing of the past when we sat down with Anderson during his visit to New York City in late August. 

In a pink, white and black plaid button-up shirt, silver-framed glasses and a megawatt smile that could light up any room, Silva didn't look like the type of guy who could probably snap your arm in a matter of seconds. Instead, the 38-year-old fighter seemed relaxed, cracking jokes with his friends and even placing his arm around the neck of people he met only a couple minutes ago. But, at the mere mention of Weidman's name, that playful side of Silva is replaced by a focused, humble individual, or as the man himself puts it, "a new Anderson." 

Prior to embarking on his training process for Saturday's rematch with Weidman at UFC 168, we spoke with the new and improved Anderson about getting a second chance at the new Middleweight champion, why his legacy would not be complete until he fights Roy Jones Jr., talks of joining Roc Nation Sports and more.

Interview by Jose Martinez (@ZayMarty)

For those people that don't know who you are, which is probably very few, but how did you come up in the sport of mixed martial arts?
Silva: I've been in this sport for a long time, training in Capoeira and Taekwondo. But when I watched the Gracie family, especially Royce Gracie fighting in UFC, that's when I started thinking that I could have a career in MMA

I respect Weidman and I thank him for giving me the chance to change my energy and techniques for the next fight. I'm a new Anderson right now.

What's your outlook on the fight against Chris Weidman at UFC 162?
The fight is the fight. I have a chance to change the story of the last match and take my belt back. 

Was there ever a point after the Weidman fight where retirement popped into your head?
No, not for now. Maybe in five or six years.

There was an interesting quote where Weidman said that people paint you as "a mythical creature" that cannot be beaten. What's your response to that?
I respect Weidman and I thank him for giving me the chance to change my energy and techniques for the next fight. I'm a new Anderson right now.

What goes into the new Anderson?
I have more humility, more sensitive and faster. [Laughs.]

RELATED: Anderson Silva's Most Brutal Stoppages

 

Dana White made the claim that because of your loss to Weidman there is no chance of a super fight between you and either Georges St-Pierre, if he comes back, or Jon Jones. Do you think that's true?
I have 10 more fights. Maybe we can still have a super fight and that's a good question…for Dana. [Laughs.] 

For a long time, I have waited for the opportunity to fight Mr. Roy Jones. This is my personal goal and dream.

Earlier, you said you wouldn't fight Jon Jones. Are you still sticking to that?
I don't like the idea, but a fight is a fight.

There's also rumors about a fight with Roy Jones Jr. Are you still trying to make that happen?
Yeah. For a long time, I have waited for the opportunity to fight Mr. Roy Jones. This is my personal goal and dream. I need to talk to Dana about it because this is very important for my legacy.

Why do you say it's important for your legacy?
Because I remember for a long time, I would tell my father, "Dad, look, there's a Roy Jones fight tonight." I recall seeing his movements and people saying he was the best pound-for-pound boxer. I'm a big fan and I like the idea of fighting Roy Jones Jr.

And it would have to be a boxing match, right?
Yes.

What is it that goes into your preparation process for a fight?
I start my training four months, maybe. The same techniques and team. I go here and there before heading back to Brazil for camp.

Looking back at your career, what was the one of the most memorable fights of your whole career? My first fight in Japan in Shooto 2 against Tetsuji Kato. It was my first belt.

What do you like to do in your down time?
I like to play soccer and paintball. I love paintball.

Do you play video games?
Yeah, I have the PlayStation 3. I just finished the last Tomb Raider.

Being a paintball fan, do you like first-person shooter games?
They're good, but not too much.

 

Who would you say is the most famous person in your cellphone?
I have a lot of guys in my phone, but I don't know.

How about someone like Jay Z?
Yeah, he's the big man in New York. I'm a big fan of Jay Z.

How did you two meet?
We talked to the guys who work for Jay Z's company, Roc Nation Sports. 

God bless Neymar because this boy has changed the lives of kids in Brazil. A lot of children watch him, believe they can be the next Neymar.

Is there any talk of joining Roc Nation Sports in some capacity?
Yeah, there's talk of joining the advertising side or a sponsor thing.

You're pretty involved in soccer, so are you a fan of fellow Brazilian, Neymar?
I like Neymar. He's my friend and he has the opportunity to play on a great team with Messi and those guys on Barcelona. God bless Neymar because this boy has changed the lives of kids in Brazil. A lot of children watch him, believe they can be the next Neymar. Sometimes, you have a great opportunity to change and impact the lives of kids.

You speak a lot on changing and impacting the lives of the kids. Why is this such an important cause for you?
I have five children. I talk to my sons all the time and sometimes, I walk in the streets and kids come up to me to say that I'm their hero. This is my biggest inspiration for changing the lives of the kids. And not just me, but the big names, like Kobe, Jordan, etc.

Going back to Neymar for a second, who do you think is the best soccer player of all time?
This is my opinion, but Pele is No. 1, followed by Ronaldo.

Who do you think are the top three soccer players today?
I'd say, Messi, Neymar and Ronaldinho Gaucho.

Are any of your kids following in your footsteps?
They play soccer, mostly. My son is also training. It's not for fights, though, because it's normal. Most importantly, they need to stay in school.

As someone so motivated to help out the kids and your community, could a career in politics be in your future?
I don't want to say "no" because that means definitely no. So I'll say, maybe.