Phillipe Nover fights tomorrow night at Bellator. There's no shame in his new place in the MMA world, but Nover was supposed to be fighting in the UFC forever after his stint on The Ultimate Fighter. With UFC president Dana White comparing Nover to pound-for-pound greats Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre, there was simply more expectation put on a guy with six career fights than was fair.
Nover lost in the finals of TUF to Efrain Escudero and would lose his next two UFC fights and get cut. Now the very mention of his name brings immediate jokes of how he was supposed to be the next Anderson Silva. A rough place in life.
The guys at the Verbal Submission podcast (including our own Ben Thapa and MMA Mania's Brian Hemminger) caught up with Nover and those expectations came up:
Gerry Rodriguez: When you were on the show, Dana said you reminded him of a young GSP, compared you to Anderson Silva, did that have any kind of impact on your psyche as far as how you approached training and the fight?
Phillipe Nover: I would say it had an impact. I was like blown away, it was huge. At the time, i was super blown away. I was like a nobody at the time and just to be thrown right into the spotlight, I didn't have any mental capacity to compare, to live up to that. It was huge and it definitely blew my head out of proportion. I wasn't gonna fit those shoes, man. It definitely kind of maybe messed me up a little in my head but as a fighter, anyone can say anything about you. You can say that he sucks, he's good. I've kind of learned how to roll with the punches. People can say whatever they want now and I'm just gonna go out there and be me.
I'm not the next Anderson Silva, I'm not the next Georges St. Pierre even though I do train with Georges when he's in the city but I'm not him. I have my own type of style and I like to take things from different people. I like to take different movements and styles and stuff but I'm not trying to be the next Georges. I'm not trying to be the next Anderson, I'm the next Phillipe Nover and that's what I'm gonna live up to. That's who I want to be. That's what you can expect on the 26th too.