We are a couple of days away from UFC 126, scheduled for February 5th, but I can't hold back any longer. This is probably the most, shall I say emotional, post I have written to date. For the sake of the readers, I will do my best to present an informational article about one of the greatest fighters / grapplers in the world - making sure that this post is both fair and balanced, free from personal opinion and hearsay.
I hate Anderson Silva...
Alright, alright, you got me. I'm a dirty liar. This article is going to contain more opinions than a Joe Rogan commentary. But I figure that if you're looking for a purely informational article, you'll go to Wikipedia.
Anderson Silva is a man that needs little introduction. He's the middleweight champion of the UFC (185 lbs), has defended his belt 7 times, has a record of 27-4 (undefeated in UFC), has his BJJ black belt under the Noguiera brothers, and has the unofficial title of "Pound for Pound, best fighter in the world" from many notable fighters and higher-ups in the MMA world. That was a long sentence. Now brace yourselves internet land, because here comes some controversial paragraphs.
#1 - He's Arrogant
This is, by far, the biggest reason I want Belfort to beat the brakes off of him. Yes, I said 'beat the brakes off' of him... thanks Rampage.
Let's not even talk about the Forrest Griffin fight where he acted like a bar fighter, rather than a middleweight champion. Heck, I'll even look past the interview in which he candidly says he's "not impressed" with George St. Pierre or BJ Penn, and that there's really "nothing special" about them (watch that interview here). Let's move rather, to his legendary (sarcasm) bout with Demian Maia. This is the fight where I started to loathe the man. Ever since watching him humiliate himself in this fight, I swore to myself I would desperately cheer for his opponents.
At UFC 112, Maia took the fight in place of Vitor Belfort due to injury. I'll be the first to admit that Maia was probably outmatched, but Silva acted as if he was fighting a girl scout rather than a fellow brazilian. He clowned Maia for the first couple rounds, then came out and 'avoided' his way to a victory for the last two rounds. The ref actually stopped the fight to warn Silva to engage or lose points. Sorry... the P4P best fighter in the world shouldn't have to be encouraged to fight.
And I don't want to hear this "he's earned the right to be arrogant, he's an incredible fighter". I agree he is an incredible fighter, but I disagree that anyone 'earns' the right of arrogance. It's a character flaw, not a Call of Duty badge. No one likes a GQ male model flaunting his stuff at Christmas parties, nor a the computer nerd that treats everyone like they are idiots because they don't know how to fix the printer. It's the same premise - you don't get to be a jerk because you've got skills. Ask GSP, Machida, or Fedor. Ridiculously talented guys, and ridiculously humble guys.
His antics in that fight about got him kicked out the UFC. Don't believe me? Dana White would never kick him out? Think again. White was interviewed just before the Chael Sonnen fight and said of Silva "If he [Silva] ever acts like that again in the ring, I will cut him." Actually, Dana walked out on his own event at UFC 112! After Silva started prancing around and not engaging, Dana White was so annoyed that he handed the middleweight belt to Silva's trainer, Ed Soares, and muttered "you give it to him" and exited the building! In the post-fight conference, White apologized to fans that "bought this [expletive]" and promised to make it up to them. Chael Sonnen swears up and down that the reason White didn't cut Silva was because of him! He begged for a fight before Dana threw him out. Who knows, maybe White gave Sonnen the fight in the hopes that Silva would be brought back to earth. Mission accomplished.
#2 - He's Hypocritical
After beating Sonnen at UFC 117, Silva went on a tirade about Chael dissing the Nogueiras with his "getting a black belt from the Noguiera brothers is like getting a free toy in your Happy Meal" comment. Granted, that was a dumb thing to say. Silva, talking about that incident, says "The thing is we don't disrespect anyone, and Brazil never disrespected anybody. We have a history within martial arts, and Sonnen should be thanking a Brazilian who created the show, for the opportunity to fight in the UFC." Then he drops this bomb. "We can't disrespect other fighters. I submitted him because he spoke ill of the Noguieras."
Little reminder friends... Demian Maia is about as Brazilian as it gets. I'm not even going to make this argument. Just form your own opinion after you watch the Silva vs Maia fight.
He continues that interview with a respectful discussion on Sonnen. "In my opinion, he never deserved a rematch. He stayed in the same position all fight... If he couldn't win in 30 minutes with me injured, could he win in a rematch?" This he said just after the 'never disrespect' comment.
And another thing... "I submitted him because he spoke ill of the Noguieras" ... like he had it planned to get whooped the entire fight and get the submission just before the final bell rang? Never mind the fact that Sonnen hit Silva more times in those 5 rounds, 289, than Silva had been hit in his entire career, 208 times. Never mind that the 3 judges scored the fight in a landslide for Sonnen. And never mind that Silva looked completely wiped when he slapped on that triangle in the last minute and a half of the fight. But hey guys, he did it for the Noguiera brothers.
#3 - He's freaking Great
Anyone who has successfully defended a belt 7 times, in any weight class, deserves some major R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Anybody who holds a Black Belt in BJJ, Tae Kwon Do, and Judo.
I'm not an idiot. When I say I "hate" Anderson Silva, it's alot like how people in the 90s said "I hate the Bulls". Or how you might hear, with the playoffs in full swing, "I hate the Patriots". It's the nature of sports - we hate the untouchables. Inevitably, though, those dynasties fell. I just can't wait until Anderson "falls"... and falls hard... hopefully, to Vitor Belfort. To be fair to Vitor, since we did an entire article on Silva, there will be an article on Belfort. He was called "the phenom" for a reason, and unfortunately for other UFC middleweights, he's starting to look at alot like he did in his early 20s, punching Wanderlei like a punching bag across the entire canvas. Vitor Belfort is a different fighter than Silva, and has arguably the best stand-up Silva has ever seen in an opponent. One more reason I'm shelling out the dough for this Pay Per View event on February 5th.
Alright internet land, let's hear what you've got to say about all of this. Is Anderson Silva arrogant or just plain confident?
If you liked this post, check it out the original article with videos and animated gifs on my site: BJJ in MMA