Was Anderson Silva Too Old or Too Injured Against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117?

Sergio Non asks the old question:

The 35-year-old Silva might be feeling his age. He was caught by punches that he has dodges in the past, and his counterstrikes seemed to be slower than usual.

Quickness and speed are the first things to go for most athletes, especially by the time they hit their mid-30s. Randy Couture and Bernard Hopkins are rarities in combat sports -- most fighters peak physically before 35, particularly below the heavyweight division.

Silva afterward said he was suffering from ribs injured in training, but even that suggests that he's getting older. He didn't seem to suffer any serious wounds during his time with Chute Boxe Academy, which was renowed for the brutality of its training. But as the aches and pains of regular sparring and practice become harder to take with age, the vulnerability to injury increases and the ability to recover decreases.

Our own Jonathan Snowden worried about this before the fight:

I worry about a fighter like Anderson Silva. He reminds me quite a bit of boxer Roy Jones. Both men rely on a physical edge, hyper speed reflexes and reaction time that makes it look like their opponents are moving in slow motion. At some point, that kind of fighter is bound to fall of a cliff. When it happens, it won't be pretty. I hope we aren't there yet with the 35 year old Silva.

That's the thing about amazing athletes like Anderson Silva. It's always just a matter of time before they fall from their peak. That's why it's incumbent upon Dana White and the UFC to spend his precious time wisely. Book Anderson Silva vs GSP while you can Dana White, not when it's too late. 

The UFC has already wasted several precious years of Anderson's peak with Patrick Cote, Thales Leites and Demian Maia. While all three of those guys are really really good fighters, none of them had clearly earned a title fight and none of them were fights fans wanted to see. 

The moral of the story, once again, is always book the best fight possible. Quit screwing around Dana, listen to Fagan and give us Anderson vs GSP.

Oh yeah, but give us that Anderson vs Chael rematch first.

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