The former UFC middleweight champion defeated Derek Brunson by unanimous decision after a back-and-forth and slightly uneventful affair, though most thought the win should have gone to Brunson. 19 out of 23 media members scored the fight for Brunson on MMADecisions.com.
UFC 208 took place live from Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday, Feb. 11.
Throughout the three-round co-main event, Brunson was rather tentative — he landed a handful of solid shots on the feet and landed quite a number of takedowns, but he never had a huge stretch of offense; there was many periods of time where he was just standing back and not engaging.
Silva certainly came into this bout with a patient approach, and that helped him. He waited until Brunson came inside his range, and he countered fairly well. That said, he did get a bit aggressive and wild at times — something Silva does often but well — and that cost him to endure more damage than what he could have endured.
Silva did just a little bit more on the feet than Brunson and that’s what got him the decision victory (despite what most people think).
What was the highlight of the fight?
I don’t think this fight was as bad as some people are making it out to me. But I really can’t pick out a highlight of Silva vs. Brunson. Nothing huge happened. Silva never hurt Brunson. Brunson never hurt Silva. They were never involved in any crazy exchanges on the feet or the mat. I suppose one could say the highlight was just the fact that Silva actually fought for the full 15 minutes — unlike in his fight with Michael Bisping last year — but that’s a bit of a stretch. Feel free to help me out with this one in the comments section below, but I draw a blank when trying to come up with a highlight.
Where do these two go from here?
I’ll say it every time Silva fights: he should retire. But he won’t, and I have to go off that. At this point in his career, though, he shouldn’t be fighting the best middleweights in the world. He’s all about being happy, so “fun” fights make sense for him nowadays. A Vitor Belfort rematch would work for me after “The Phenom” fights Kelvin Gastelum, but nothing like Yoel Romero or Luke Rockhold. If the UFC takes the route of a Bisping rematch either now or after Bisping loses the title (whenever that may be), I won’t be surprised.
Watch now, later, or never?
At this point in time, we’re looking at the final moments of Silva’s career. He wants to be fighting for three or four more years, but I’d be shocked if we see Silva on a UFC poster in 2020. So for that reason, you have to give arguably the greatest of all time a watch, but there’s no rush.