Every hardcore mixed martial arts fan knows Anderson Silva left Chute Boxe many moons ago before eventually teaming up the Nogueira brothers, but most of you probably don’t know how it happened. Well, as Big Nog tells it in a MMA column he’s penning for a Brazilian publication called Jornal Extra, Silva actually approached him to borrow money to start a car wash at a time when he was considering leaving MMA. Nogueira thought it was crazy for Silva to give up his fighting career to wash cars, so he invited him to come train with them in Rio de Janeiro and the rest is history. Via Fighters Only:

“In 2003, then unknown Anderson Silva visited a gym that I own in Curitiba. In the fight world, Anderson already had certain name, had fought in Brazil and Japan but wasn’t going on a good moment in the career. He had left Chute Boxe – where Mauricio Shogun and Wanderlei Silva were revealed for MMA – and was very disappointed with the sport,” Nog recalls.

“Anderson was received in the academy by cousin Marcio Mamá. The Spider said he enjoyed a lot my fights in Pride, main MMA promotion of that epoch, and spoke openly about his desillusion, the wish of giving up fighting professionally and about his financial setbacks. He even speculated the possibility of asking me money borrowed to run a car-wash in the suburg of Curitiba.”

“When I knew about Anderson’s visit and his plan of leaving the sport, I reacted immediately. I called my cousin and told him that we wouldn’t permit that Anderson changed his dream for a car-wash. I invited him to train with me in Rio de Janeiro and the rest of the history we already know, the guy turned out a legend.”

What a tragedy that would have been, even though we never would have known it.

Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog