By Anthony Springer Jr.
Today’s UFC 97: Redemption conference call offered a brief glimpse into what fans can expect on April 18 at the sold-out Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada, when the UFC middleweight champion, Anderson “The Spider” Silva (23-4) looks to add on to his growing legacy when he meets Thales Leites (14-1) in the night’s main event. “I’m very motivated for this fight, everybody always mentions that I’m one of the best fighters and having that type of label on me makes me very motivated,” Silva said on what keeps him driven. “It motivates me to show my coaches and the world that I can do everything I’ve trained to do in the fight. That’s what motivates me to go out and give my best performance.”
For Leites, the big stage brings big stakes and he plans to take full advantage of the once in a lifetime opportunity.
“This is the fight of my life and I don’t want to let it go,” Leites stated. “I’m an Anderson fan because he looks for the knockout every single time and I like looking for the submission. This will be a very interesting fight.”
The night’s co main event will feature former light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell taking on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. Liddell throws out all attempts at keeping his pre-fight game plan a secret, stating with no hesitation that nothing about “The Iceman” will change once the bell rings.
“I’m planning on coming out and performing like I usually do,” Liddell said. “I’m planning on knocking [Shogun] out.”
“Shogun” doesn’t mince words either and is eyeing a return to prominence on the back of Liddell.
“I intend to give my best in this fight and hopefully this will be the next great stage in my career,” Rua said.
UFC 98: Redemption kicks off on pay-per-view April 18 at 7 p.m. PST.