Promoted from the FanPosts by Kid Nate.
After UFC 97's terrible main event which saw an overmatched and one-dimensional Thales Leites flop to the ground countless times in order to lure Silva into his only chance to win, Dana White has come out publicly stating the matchup was "embarrassing" in an interview with Steve Cofield. The big question coming out of the interview and event is how the UFC should react, and what can be done to bolster a more exciting matchup for Anderson Silva.
First and foremost, the UFC needs to push some of the more offensive fighters into the title contention picture. One of the big knocks on Thales Leites was that he was solely a ground guy that didn't have the standup to contend with Silva. While on paper, that looks like a fight in which Silva would easily destroy Leites on the feet, opponents to Silva are much more inclined to try to hang with the champ by keeping distance and moving to the floor when in trouble. The problem here is that Silva's dominance in the striking department basically pushed Leites to flop because he couldn't penetrate Silva's range for a takedown.
So, what can the UFC do? The Middleweight division isn't exactly chalk full of exciting matchups, but here's a few suggestions. Book Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva in a superfight matchup. This will not only cause him to be serious in the cage, but St. Pierre's power is going to be one of the most formidable attributes that Silva will have to overcome. St. Pierre won't be trying to figure out how to get through his reach for the weeks preceding the fight because I have no doubt that his explosiveness in the takedown game will put Silva on his back. St. Pierre in side control is nightmarish for even Silva.
Other likely candidates are Demian Maia and Yushin Okami. While I do agree with the opinion that this fight hurts Maia's chances, he's much more of an offensive grappler than Leites. I think Maia would be a much more aggressive opponent than Leites. Okami, while boring in his style, doesn't back off. He will do exactly what the UFC wants in trying to move forward, put Silva down, and overpower him with punches on the ground. It isn't the greatest idea in the world, but it will give Silva a chance to knockout an opponent.
There are a couple more issues I have with the fight as well. A lot of rumors have swirled around the media regarding whether Silva was trying to lose, trying to be DQ'd, trying to allow Leites to win without looking like he was giving away the fight. This is a bit absurd, but in retrospect, Silva wasn't exactly helping his cause against such a case.
The issue that angers me the most, however, revolves around Silva's greasing after he entered the cage. In lieu of the Georges St. Pierre incident, Silva blatantly wipes his face as he entered the cage and rubbed himself down with the Vaseline that was just applied. It definitely didn't have an impact in the matchup, but I'm a bit disheartened that this happens constantly. Furthermore, Silva did this in plain view of the camera with his own hands.
This type of activity needs to be monitored. Have someone watching the corners and the fighters when they enter the cage and during the fight. Don't rely on crowd members or fellow fighters within the crowd to scream at the commission members about it. This should be meticulously looked at as it is becoming a bigger issue than previously thought. I suppose what makes me angry at this point is that Silva almost looked as if he was trying to get caught.
Unfortunately for the UFC's Middleweight ranks, the entire main event fiasco is going to set some guys back that shouldn't be deterred. Maia should be in line for the title along with Okami, but we all know the stance of the UFC on Okami. St. Pierre will likely get a call regarding a matchup against Silva, and at this point, it's needed in order to challenge him.