Kevin Iole jumps his case:
In a lame attempt at humor, Silva made a mockery of himself, his title and his sport in one of the most bizarre matches in UFC history.
"I think I’m living in an alternate universe," a befuddled UFC president Dana White said, shaking his head. "That was bizarro world."
Silva retained the belt when Cote collapsed in agony 39 seconds into the third round as he went to throw a punch. He later said he aggravated an old knee injury and was heading to the hospital, believing he had damaged the meniscus in his right knee. The near-sellout crowd of 15,359 booed Cote roundly, but it was Silva who really deserved its wrath.
There was no fighting in the match, largely because Silva opted not to fight. On the rare occasions Silva chose to engage, he got far better of the few exchanges.
Steve Cofield jumps in as well:
...the story of the night was Silva (23-4, 8-0 UFC) turning off the crowd by clowning around for the first 10 minutes. Between dancing around the ring, twirling his hands, bowing disrespectfully towards Cote at the end of the first and at one point offering a hand to help Cote off the floor, Silva came off as a big jerk. He went from displaying a Muhammed Ali-like playful aura early in the fight to looking like he was sticking it to the UFC for matching him up against such a longshot.
Iole is presumably in his usual role of Dana White's mouthpiece but Cofield is known as an independent voice.
While I was as bummed as the next guy when Cote's knee blew out, I'm certainly not ready to start hating on Anderson Silva. If Dana White can't find worthy opponents for the "greatest pound-for-pound fighter in the sport" then he shouldn't be surprised when things go awry.
Put Silva in the cage with Chuck Liddell ASAP. Resign Matt Lindland. Give Henderson or Marquardt another shot. Sign Gegard Mousasi, Jacare, Frank Shamrock, Cung Le, Robbie Lawler, somebody! Let Anderson box Roy Jones, Jr.
Give the man some challenges worthy of his abilities.
The man's talking about retirement for a reason. He's totally bored out of his mind. When a competitor of his skill and ability is put in the cage with an opponent he can toy with, no one should be surprised when that's what he does.
Sam Caplan agrees:
I did not see an unmotivated Silva take it easy last night and try to take liberties with Cote. I did not see a champion fight with over-confidence. Rather, I saw Silva fight with extreme caution. I saw a man who did everything in his power to avoid a repeat occurrence of the UFC 69 upset of then-welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre against the underdog of underdogs, Matt Serra.
I saw a man who respected Cote’s punching power and had enough respect for him not to present his chin on a silver platter, much like Chuck Liddell did to Rashad Evans last month at UFC 88. Granted, there were times where Silva dropped his hands, but he was always out of striking distance when he did so. The way I saw it, Silva didn’t want to press Cote and risk a knockout and instead wanted to take advantage of his reach by making Cote push the pace so that he could counter.
I didn’t see Silva take his opponent lightly; I saw a fighter in Cote who absorbed some tremendous combinations from Silva and barely winced after absorbing knees to the face.
-- Gif by Smoogy.