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Silva Makes Splash in 'Like Water': A Review

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If there’s one topic in MMA that never fails to fuel the speculation of media and fans, it’s this: What’s going on in Anderson Silva’s head? The language barrier doesn’t help with North Americans, and the translations are loose (and usually boring). There are the Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde antics in the cage. There are interconnected associations with such things as Steven Seagal and paintball and Big Macs. Yet above all else, there’s the long-tenured, record-breaking champion with a captivating -- if unintentional -- sense of mystery. A new film entitled "Like Water" will premiere April 21 in Manhattan at the Tribeca Film Festival, and it pulls the curtain back to reveal (in cussword-included subtitles) Anderson Silva in a context you wouldn’t expect. How? Filmmaker Pablo Croce centers on travail. Rather than dog-earring the illustrious side of Silva’s MMA career, Croce captures scrutiny and derision in painstaking detail within a three-month window that begins post-Demian Maia at UFC 112 and ends with Chael Sonnen at UFC 117. There are glimpses into other aspects (his family life, training, idling, interacting with fans), but the gravity of the film is based on a walls-closing-in sense of situation. Silva spends a lot of time negating the negative. It’s not that we see Dana White peeved and telling Jim Rome he’ll cut the champion if he made a mockery of the Octagon again; it’s what you get out of Silva watching it, absorbing his own bizarre behavior. It’s that you see him lament to Lyoto Machida-san that "everybody wants a brawl." We see self-reflective Silva, dealing in issues of esteem. It’s not long before things shift to the montages of Chael Sonnen, who became (what he thought was) the mouthpiece of public sentiment in bashing Silva at every turn. Through the entire lead-up to the epic battle at UFC 117, Silva takes things in while maintaining an opiate calm. Yet there are glimpses into moods, caught when Silva hangs Soares out to dry with one-word answers during an interview. Or when he tells his friend/teammate, "You’re screwed until I forget you’re screwed" out of frustration with his fight. You see him in ordinary situations (like at the airport) doing extraordinary things (like putting his belt through security). What you don’t see is Silva cracking under surmounting pressure, but the pressure is real and ends up being the star of the film. And that becomes the documentary’s merit; it not only depicts the mettle of Silva on multiple levels, but it peers into the fight game in general through the back door. As much as we are shown Silva in intimate situations, you also see Sonnen intimately. We see the wirework beneath the surface and, as cliché as it seems, a human side to the fighters all too commonly regarded as products. In other words, you empathize with Silva, which has long been something foreign to us.

UFC 125 Fight Card: Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard Primer

Everything you need to know about Frankie Edgar vs Gray Maynard at UFC 125.

MMA History Points to Tough Odds for B.J. Penn and Joseph Benavidez in Rematches Against Frankie Edgar and Dominick Cruz

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The vast majority of elite level MMA fighters who lose the initial fight in a series will go on to lose the rematch.

Will Dana White Really Cut Anderson Silva If He Plays Around Against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117?

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UFC boss Dana White has painted himself into a corner by threatening to cut his middleweight champion Anderson Silva if Silva doesn't deliver entertaining performances.

Maia Reflects on Silva's UFC 112 Antics: Tapology: After the fight, Silva used your comment on the...

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Maia Reflects on Silva's UFC 112 Antics: Tapology: After the fight, Silva used your comment on the Countdown show about taking his leg as his reasoning for acting the way he did. Do you think that is really the reason for his behavior? Maia: Of course it’s not. You can see on every Countdown they need to get the people excited and I think in my Countdown nobody was talking bull____ about each other. It was very respectful and I just said that because the guys ask you to add more promotion and everything. It’s normal. Everybody does that. The beautiful thing of this sport is that everybody does the promotion, but after the fight they respect each other because it’s not easy to go there and fight. It’s obviously an excuse, but I don’t know why he behaved like that. Maybe there is too much pressure on him. For me, he’s just a fake guy, you know? He says something in front of you and then after he says another thing. He pretends to be humble, but the worst thing is when you fake that. He pretends to be a really nice guy and everything, but inside he’s really not like that.

BJ Penn's Why I Fight Makes the NY Times Best-Seller List, clocking in at #22 in nonfiction...

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BJ Penn's Why I Fight Makes the NY Times Best-Seller List, clocking in at #22 in nonfiction hardcovers. Not bad for a book Dana White hates and the UFC isn't backing. Story at MMABookworm.com

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The Dana White/BJ Penn "Controversy"

The MMA blogosphere is getting all riled up over a passage in BJ Penn's new book Why I Fight in which he describes just how tough the UFC can get in the negotiating process. Here's the entry,...

MMA Confidential's Bruce Kivo catches up with BJ Penn to talk about the release of his book "Why I...

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MMA Confidential's Bruce Kivo catches up with BJ Penn to talk about the release of his book "Why I Fight", and gets BJ's reaction to his loss in Abu Dhabi. Also in this episode, with Cara Castranova, Bruce sits down with the man they call Fancy Pants, Lyle Beerbohm. The two discuss Beerbohm overcoming his addictions and his rise in StrikeForce.

The Brighter Side of UFC 112

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The three major upsides of UFC 112 revolve around some of the lower card battles involving Rafael Dos Anjos, Phil Davis, and Mark Munoz. All of their battles resulted in impressive finishes of...

Demian Maia says Anderson Silva called him a Momma's Boy: "I just thought it was disrespectful for...

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Demian Maia says Anderson Silva called him a Momma's Boy: "I just thought it was disrespectful for him to swear at me during the fight, saying things like, ‘You (explicative) momma’s boy, show me your Jiu-Jitsu.’ That type of stuff. I felt it was disrespectful and unnecessary. Aside from that, it was a normal fight." "He begged my forgiveness and I feel everyone makes mistakes, tha’s normal. I feel something influenced him afterwards and he came up with that statement about me having disrespected him. I never made any strong statements and, even if I had, it would have been to promote the fight, which is normal. The fight ends and the two fighters embrace" HT: Gracie Mag -- Photo by Tracy Lee UFC 112 Coverage
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