It’s hard to know exactly what makes UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva tick. He’s often humble yet other times exhibits extreme cockiness; he’s willing to laugh at himself on occasion yet dead serious in other instances. All in all, Silva is somewhat of an enigma even after entertaining UFC fans for the past six years.

The UFC recently took a stab at peeling back some of the layers during a recent training session with Silva where he was allowed to impart some philosophy of viewers. “The Spider” began by explaining how important martial arts was to his life, not only in terms of the financial success he’s had but more so in terms of the impact it has had on how he lives his day-to-day life.

Silva also made a point to emphasize the importance of self-assurance and how overcoming adversity in pursuit of dream is key to developing greatness.

“When I was 8 I was already getting kicked in the face, getting beat up by the big kids. I was 8 years old but I was tall. I was a troublemaker, I would tease the big kids. I would get beat up in training and I would cry. They would say, ‘He ain’t coming back,’ and and I would always be there the next day, in their face – ‘Do you want to beat me up?’ I want to see you try.’ Then I would get beat again, of course,” Silva explained with a laugh. “But while the big bullies didn’t want to learn, I wanted to learn. While the big kids were beating everyone without learning, I was learning. Then I became gnarlier than the big kids. You must have a dragon hidden inside of you. When you need, you let that dragon out.”

“First you achieve your competence. Use your talent and believe in yourselves. Things will happen. But you have to believe that nothing is impossible,” said Silva to a group of training partners later in the clip. “Nobody is here only to be a sparring partner. You are not here to be anybody’s punching bag. We are here to help each other. Without you I would not be champion. And with me you will get farther than without me. So we’re here for each other.”

One topic Silva didn’t address was upcoming opponent Chael Sonnen. However, given their heated history, chances are the 185-pound great will do plenty of talking with his strikes when the two get together on July 7 at UFC 148.

Check out the complete interview with Silva below: