Eric Williams, Anderson Silva's personal photographer for the past few years, knows a thing or two about his client.
Not only does Williams follow Silva around to capture select shots of the former champion, but he also gets to spend time with Silva in situations that few others get to see.
"I never bought into the hype," Williams told SB Nation. "I've gotten to know him as a person, as a brand, as a father, a business owner. It is one thing that I've always stressed to him: own your brand - own your legacy. Very few athletes will walk away from any sport owning anything."
Williams believes that Silva is the sort of athlete who would never turn his back on fans, and prioritizes his family above all else. He compared him to Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan, and added that one can expect to see Silva adding to his legacy by developing the next generation of fighters.
"Probably developing other students; other athletes. If he does it right, which I'm sure he probably will, his brand will outlive the sport. He is the Michael Jordan of MMA."
One of Williams' brightest career moments took place several months ago, when he was able to capture several remarkably rare photographs of Anderson Silva and Georges St. Pierre conversing after what appeared to be a sparring session.
"It took me about a year-and-a-half but I was able to put a photo-shoot together on Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre. It is the first and only time that I've ever cried for anything that I've done."
It was the first time that the two iconic fighters had interacted.
"They were leaked. It was kind of sad that they came out that way. It was a moment that I'll never forget. They've been fighting in the UFC for ten years and they never had a conversation; never talked."
Given his unique position, Williams has had the opportunity to take part in several behind-the-scenes discussions that many fans could only dream about. However, when asked whom he believes would win between the two future legends, he was unable to provide a definitive answer.
"I would say that Georges St-Pierre is the best pure athlete that I've ever worked with; from Olympians, NFL players, basketball players, etc. I've never seen anybody with his athletic ability.
"I don't think the weight disparity is as big as people think it is. At his heaviest, GSP is 194-pounds. A fight between the two of them would be epic. It is a dream match-up. While GSP is explosive and heavily gameplans, Anderson has to feel the movement - his spider sense."