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Liddell vs. Silva: Who Has More To Prove?

Todd Martin thinks the onus is on Wanderlei Silva. To wit:

The fight itself has many question marks. Both Liddell and Silva are coming off consecutive losses. There has been greater focus on a potential decline of Liddell because he is 38 and his losses were viewed by significantly more American viewers. However, Liddell didn't look particularly bad in either fight. He got caught by Jackson and suffered a close defeat to Jardine. Neither was the sort of crippling psychological blow that can lead to a precipitous fighter decline.

The fighter with more questions to answer is Silva. Silva is younger than Liddell, but he has been in many more fights. He also has to deal with a transition from Pride back to the UFC, which means different rules and testing procedures. The most problematic factor is that Silva is coming off a pair of brutal knockout losses. Silva was devastated by strikes from Mirko Cro Cop and Dan Henderson. Physically and psychologically, those losses will be difficult to overcome.

I've wondered about the knockout losses as well. Being physically wounded is difficult enough leaving aside the oppressive feeling of personal and career humiliation.

But what alternatives does Silva have? In other words, just as Georges St. Pierre had no alternative but to pick himself back up after the devastating loss to Matt Serra, if Silva is to have any sort of career at age 33 he has to do the same. He has to utilize whatever mental or internal resources he has to give the sport of MMA another try and he must do so to the best of his ability.

Let's be clear: the doubts about Silva are perfectly justified. He is transitioning over to the cage, he is coming off of two straight KO losses and he is facing an opponent that poses stylistic problems for him. That's a tall order to stand up to. And I'm not suggesting he's definitely going to win on Saturday, but Silva is doing those things he needs to do in order to win - take time off, make meaningful and relevant changes in personal and professional capacities, and for lack of a better description, get back on the horse. He has no choice but to make these changes if he wants to win. Again, I don't know that he will, but at least he's maximizing his chances.