First of all - I am a Canadian and a big Georges St. Pierre fan. I did not dislike Anderson Silva, but I was getting a bit sick of his fans, especially on this website. I was tired of hearing about how knocking out Bonnar made him the GOAT, I was always a big skeptical of the competition at MW and so I wasn't sure why we couldn't at least talk about whether Silva was the best ever. I thought that if Silva lost, I'd be quite happy to come online and gloat about it.
Instead, when I saw him go limp and I knew it was over, I felt terribly sad, like my pet turtle had died. I was bummed about it all weekend. I came on this website briefly, saw everyone gloating, and left. Why is that?
I think it was because Silva was the one guy who managed to live that Bruce Lee fantasy for a while. We all expect MMA to be like enter the dragon, and then it's one guy sitting on another delivering short elbows into the face over and over again.
I love GSP, but he's an athlete, and so is Weidman and Benson Henderson. Silva was a Jedi, or a robot from the future. The stuff he did was amazing. You had the feeling that it should be working, yet it did, until it didn't.
Weidman is the prototype for the new MMA superstar - exciting sure, a good finisher, a nice guy, but boring somehow. Like GSP or, say, prime Rashad Evans, he is greater than the sum of his parts. Although his striking and wrestling are great, neither are transcendent (witness his "OK" wrestling record). It's the way that he puts them together that makes him so special.
And Silva's record was always lacked guys like that, a little bit. The two real wrestlers he faced were Dan Henderson and Chael Sonnen, and I'm not sure he ever faced one of these new breed, the guy who trained for MMA from a young age, who put it all together, instead of coming in with one trick and then trying to fake everything else.
This is not run down Anderson Silva - he was 38 and he was bound to lose sometime, if only to bad luck. I would still call him the GOAT for now. What I'm really trying to talk about is the way that Anderson lost. A lot of people are saying that he was too cocky, and that he got what was coming to him. I would not disagree that Silva looked a bit like he lost it mentally, and that he was clowning around too much.
But remember, Weidman almost instantly got that first take down on Silva, beat him up, and went for a submission (and came close to getting it). Silva had to know, at that point, he was in trouble. All the clowning around, the dropping his hands, squaring his hips, seemed quite calculated to me. He put his hands down and squared his hips to stuff takedowns (which he did, effortlessly, in the second round) and he danced, kissed and capered to try to throw Weidman (fighting only for the tenth time, and his first time under such pressure) mentally off his game. His plan was to sucker Weidman into headhunting him, and then to look for counters.
He did this, in my opinion, because on some level he knew that he was in deep waters. Like I said, he was 38, and he was fighting someone better than he'd fought before. Let me repeat that - by combat sports standards, he was INCREDIBLY OLD, and he was fighting the BEST fighter he'd ever faced. Certainly much better than Sonnen, better than Henderson, better than anyone else that gave him trouble. After the very first takedown, Silva knew that he needed to turn to trickery to get the win.
You may have all seen a super cocky fighter throwing away the belt. I saw a cagey veteran playing the only card he had left, trying to pull off one more magic trick to thrill us all. And if one of those front kicks had landed, we'd be talking about how Silva had done it again.
But it was not to be. Weidman seemed a little rattled by all the taunting at the end of the first, a little hesitant to throw his punches, but he settled down and found his mark. Silva either underestimated Weidman's power or overestimated his chin. And then it was over.
Let's not cry too much for Anderson. As he hinted, getting freed from the belt is not a bad thing. Now he can fight who he likes. Bisping in London? Check. Belfort in Rio? Check. Cung Le? Check. Sub top-10 205 pounders in Vegas? Check. All these fights will pay him just as much as fighting Weidman did, without the risk of losing.
I really feel like it's us that lost, though. Because although we appreciate the athleticism of guys like Weidman and GSP, we really watch the fights for those Jedi moves, the Bruce Lee stuff, comic book fighting. And Silva was the one guy who could really deliver it at the highest level. It just hurt so much to watch him lose.
Thanks for reading! Let me knwo what you think.