The champ's strange behavior can be explained as a misguided attempt to apply traditional concepts of respect and honor to a professional sport. If you wanna see knockouts, keep giving him American opponents.
Let's step back in time to April, 2009. Silva has just finished a disappointing fight against Thales Leites in which he looked unwilling to really engage his opponent and uninterested in finishing the fight. Sure he gave his usual speech about executing his game plan, but the truth is, Silva never wanted this fight to happen.
"I want to apologize to Thales, Dedé Pederneiras and the Nova União team," he told Tatame. "I already trained several times in the Nova União, with Dedé, Master Shaolin, and I didn’t like to do this fight, but we are professionals."
Silva sees himself as a martial artist first, and professional fighter second. He is bound by codes of honor and deeply ingrained respect for his elders in the world of Brazilian martial arts. "Everything needs to be done with caution, specially Brazilians against Brazilians," he said after UFC 112. "To be honest my goal was not to hurt anyone, I'm not here to hurt Demian or any other opponent."
Anyone who's watched Silva's fights with Leben, Franklin, et all knows that he doesn't have problem hurting folks. Not that's he out to injure his opponents, but he has no qualms about ending their night. He was well on his way to punishing Patrick Cote when an injury stopped the fight. When he's fighting Brazilians, however, Silva becomes fixated on notions of honor and respect, a preoccupation that resulted in UFC 112.
Perhaps Maia's relatively tame pre-fight talk really struck Anderson as offensive, the sort of thing one Brazilian black belt shouldn't say to another. But the way Silva responded turned the whole notion of respect into a farce. Yes, he bowed to his opponent before and after the fight. But he also spent five rounds taunting, teasing and insulting Maia. True, he largely avoided hurting Maia. But any talk of respect after this fight understandably rang hollow.
If DW and the UFC want to see Anderson perform, they should avoid matching him with Brazilians, who bring out a side of Anderson that has no place in the Octagon.