Anderson Silva’s front kick KO of Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 left most fans staring in sheer disbelief and amazement at what they had just witnessed.
Not everyone was surprised though. Silva’s long-time friend and training partner Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira revealed after the fight that he and a few others have become perhaps a little too familiar with Silva’s latest deadly weapon.
“He used it with me a couple of times in training. He knocked me out with a kick once before,” Nogueira told MMADieHards with a wry chuckle.
Apparently he’s no the only one to have suffered that fate however.
“He knocked my brother [Rogerio Nogueira] out once before. [Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion] Rafael Feijao get this kick a couple of times. That’s not like a surprise for us, that is a kick that he does in the gym a lot.”
Having spent years training with him, and having himself fought many of the world’s best fighters in his distinguished career, Nogueira is well qualified to judge where Silva stands in the scheme of things in the sport.
“He is the best pound-for-pound you know, no doubt. He showed that today man, you know. He’s always got some surprise, something else, and he did that today.
With Belfort out of the way Nogueira has no doubt who he wants to see the champion fight next.
“Lets see Georges St.Pierre right now.”
As for his own career, Nogueira reveals that he hopes to get back into training after over a year out due to knee and hip surgeries in April. He then hopes to be ready to fight on the UFC: Rio card which takes place on August 27th.
Watch the full interview below.