It’s sometimes easy for us in North America to forget just how big of a star Anderson Silva is in his home country of Brazil.
Take, for instance, the UFC middleweight champion’s recent meeting with one of his young fans, which is the kind of feel-good clip that transcends language barriers.
According to Dr. Eduardo Picanco, who posted the clip, the 12-year-old patient is suffering from a bone condition (Legg-Calve-Perthes syndrome) that required two leg and hip surgeries and has left him in a wheelchair for nine months.
When the doctor learned one of his idols is Silva, he arranged the surprise meeting. After the initial shock and a teary embrace, Silva offered him gifts and words of encouragement. Notably, the champ told the young jiu-jitsu and muay Thai enthusiast that his teammate, Antonio “Minotauro” Rodrigo Nogueira, also was once in a wheelchair but went on to a successful MMA career that included UFC and PRIDE titles.
“Let me tell you something: You’ll need to do something very important for everyone,” Silva says. “You’ll have to work hard so you can get better very soon. ‘Minotauro’ had the same problem, and he’s fighting again. Got it? So you have to work hard. I talked to the doctor. He’ll talk to ‘Minotauro’s’ doctor to see if she can help you too. That way you’ll get back to training as soon as possible. OK? Cool?
“… Let’s get better fast so we can train. It’s a date. We’ll train when you get better.”
Check out the above clip for the emotional meeting. And catch Silva (33-4 MMA, 16-0 UFC) in action on July 6 at UFC 162, where he meets Chris Weidman (9-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) in the night’s pay-per-view headliner.
For the latest on UFC 162, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.