loss to Chris Weidman. We’ve seen Anderson Silva clown around in the ring, taunting
his opponent throughout contests. We’ve seen him take more post-fight criticism
than punishment in fights where he seemed disinterested in finishing as he danced
to somewhat easy decisions. On the one hand it’s fitting that the style that has both
amazed and infuriated fight fans since Silva secured the title in October 2006 is also
the one that saw him lose the title as Chris Weidman’s fists finally took the smile off
his face. On the other hand it does feel somewhat cheap, as if Silva didn’t care as
much about the fight as the fans or his opponent.
It's possibly the Silva might have become over-confident. Silva’s clowning act
was never this dangerous before, and I don’t know if he knew the difference
before it was too late. When Silva had done the dance and mug act prior, it
was in fights where he was already landing shots with ease. Forrest Griffin and
Stephan Bonner come to mind. In those fights it seemed Silva could just decide
what he wanted to throw at his opponent and hit his target to devastating results.
Saturday night was different.
Silva was into the full taunting act before he’d landed even one meaningful
shot against Chris Weidman. Silva had landed some decent leg kicks and far be
it for me to discount those, but he hadn’t demoralized his opponent. Weidman
didn’t buy into the act, but he did look a little confused at times trying to
figure out what he should do to a fighter that’s dancing and dropping his hands
continually. Much like other fighters who’ve tried to maintain their composure,
Weidman continued to stand in and deliver shots. Unlike those other fights,
Silva wasn’t landing devastating counter-shots to complete the
So in the end, rather than embarrassing the next Forrest Griffin, Silva got
embarrassed. Except that you don’t get the sense that he’s capable of
As he talked to the audience in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan,
Silva was praising the new champ, but it all felt kind of sarcastic to me.
Maybe he meant it, but if a guy who didn’t put up his best effort praises the
new champ as being the best isn’t he playing the audience for fools? I guess
it’s more gracious than to discount the new champ, but these are the problems
of perception when a fight has such a strange ending. We’re not used to title
fights ending when one of the fighters gets caught because he wasn’t paying
attention to the fundamentals of fighting – namely keep your damn hands up.
But Silva was never an orthodox champ. For what was going on seven years,
Silva had defeated anyone the UFC could throw at him. Maybe this was the only
way it could have ended. Even if the last fight feels a little bit cheap,
there’s no denying how excellent the run has been. You just don’t get the sense
that the UFC’s other long-reigning champ, George St-Pierre could ever put any
doubt around his belt in victory or defeat.
So, what’s next? Despite Silva’s in-ring claim that he didn’t want a rematch
it appears that is where we’re headed. A guy who held the belt that long
certainly deserves an instant rematch, and UFC President Dana White’s thoughts
on it are instructive as to what happened in this fight where Anderson Silva was
“The next one’s going to be very interesting, White said. “I think I
would have the odds pretty much the same this one for the last one, 2-1 for
Silva. I think he’ll be 2-1 again.”
And that’s ultimately the problem I think I had with the fight Saturday night.
You want your title fights to leave no doubt about who the best fighter is, and
because of the way Anderson Silva went about his business, that wasn’t the