Silva is still the greatest ever, briefly brought down by his vanity
Marko Petrak comments on the shocking defeat of Anderson Silva and the new middleweight king Chris Weidman.
There is plenty of material to make an introduction for a comment on the Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman bout. It would be logical to name all the records broken by Anderson Silva in the MMA world before he was literally brought down by Weidman. Still, maybe it's better to start off with an ironic question: Who would've thought that a wrestler with average boxing skills could cruelly knock out a stand-up master like Silva? Only a few people. Probably nobody. The only objective scenario in which the American could triumph in this fight was for him to use his wrestling and grind it out for five rounds to get a decision win. But when arrogance and disrespect for opponents get in the way of sport, upsets like this are to be expected.
Perhaps the biggest irony of this fight is the Weidman’s blow which put the up-to-then champion to sleep. It was a quite light, but pinpoint accurate hook that landed on the very top of the Brazilian’s chin. There goes the theory that some fighters can’t be knocked out. Like Silva, who could take some nasty projectiles throughout his career and then just coolly shake them off and carry on like nothing happened. Against Weidman too, he wanted to show how well he could still avoid being punched, and if anything gets through, the concrete chin would surely hold. This time it didn’t. A quite light, but accurate blow blew to pieces seven years of domination over the MMA world. It also blew to pieces the myth of the magnificent Spider’s invincibility.
It’s difficult to talk about “what ifs”, but after a round and a half in the MGM Grand Arena, Silva looked pretty good and well-prepared. The 38 years on his back don’t seem that much compared to some other “well-worn” colleagues like Wanderlei Silva or Minotauro Nogueira. And yet, the impression is that the Brazilian got too carried away in his mind game of trying to make the opponent play his way. True enough, focusing on Silva’s clownish moves, Weidman did forget about his original game plan, which implied a takedown and working from the mount. At the point when Silva managed to do this, instead of getting to business he was swayed by vanity and over-confidence. He probably wanted to go one step further; he wanted to prove that even at the age of 38 he could still shame he best possible contender in the world. He wanted to repeat the match against Forrest Griffin. Underestimating Weidman in this way was what brought him down in the end.
And now what? Now comes a rematch. Silva’s saying “I don’t care about the belt and I need some rest” is just getting into starting positions before the rematch negotiations begin. Many analysts (even those from reputable Forbes) are predicting that another fight between Weidman and Silva would likely break all PPV sales records. Expectedly, the UFC will do everything it takes to make the rematch happen as soon as possible, which is something that Dana White didn’t even try to hide at the official media conference. A few millions more offered to the ex-champion will surely convince him that another match against Weidman and going for the title is the right move. No one will complain, least of all the fans…
A small digression for the end. It’s easy to kick a man while he’s down. And this is what many people are doing after Anderson Silva’s first defeat in the last 2500 days. Bringing into question everything this incredible fighter has done for the sport after just one defeat is ridiculous and pathetic. Anderson Silva is absolutely the greatest MMA fighter of all time. This is not and cannot be disputable because his results support that fact. And while just until yesterday we admired the way he beat up Griffin, Okami or Bonnar with an ounce of humor and wit, today we are spitting upon him because he wanted to defeat Weidman using the same recipe. Yes, he went overboard. And yes, he lost by knockout. But this is still that same magnificent Anderson Silva who hadn’t lost for more than 2500 days.