Anderson Silva Remains MMA’s Biggest Enigma

Written by Tom Ngo
April 11th, 2010

UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva

If Anderson Silva intended to dominate the headlines following his title defense at UFC 112, the middleweight king certainly got his wish. While Hollywood claims any publicity is good publicity, Octagon brass want no part of this nonsense.

“This was a historic event for us,” company president Dana White said at the post-fight presser. “The arena tonight was incredible. The energy was amazing, and to end it the way that we did was an embarrassment. I’m so blown away and disgusted and saddened.

“As mad as I am right now, he’s still one of the most talented guys in the business.”

And there lies the caveat …

For his third straight title defense, the baddest 185-pounder on the planet appeared more interested in showboating than elbowing.

After calling Demian Maia out in the opening rounds for not engaging, Silva was the one that spent the championship stanzas circling the Octagon refusing to throw. Not only did this enrage fans, who booed the champ for much of the 5thRound, but White went absolutely ballistic after witnessing Silva’s sideshow act.

“The Spider” now owns a dominant 26-4 professional record and is prefect through his last 12 scraps. Saturday’s win over Maia marked his seventh consecutive title defense, a UFC record.

Clearly, the separation between he and the middleweight field has never been wider – and unfortunately Silva knows it. In fact, he appears completely bored at 185-pounds. For whatever reason, Silva isn’t fighting with the same veracity he did in his two light heavyweight contests.

MMA’s most efficient striker toyed with Patrick Cote at UFC 90 before the Canadian blew out his knee in the 3rdRound. At the time, it was the furthest anyone had taken the Brazilian in a UFC affair.

Not much was made of his lackluster performance against Cote because he had been immaculate in the Octagon up to that point, however he followed that up with an uninspired unanimous decision effort over Thales Leites at UFC 97 that really started the murmurs.

That was the first time White was forced to atone for his superstar’s less than superb game.

“I personally apologize for what happened tonight,” White said after Silva’s title bout against Leites. “You guys know this is not what the UFC was built on. This is not the way fights usually go.”

Sandwiched between those uneventful championship victories were two spectacular 205-pound fights, which saw Silva put James “The Sandman” Irvin and Forrest Griffin to sleep in a combined 4:24. That’s correct, together, Irvin and the former champ couldn’t make it past an entire round against the pound-for-pound king.

What infuriates most is that it appears as though he’s taking his talent for granted, depriving fans of witnessing supreme mixed martial arts talent.

Why else does he refuse to cash-in a winning lottery ticket?

Michael Jordan once said that a primary reason he was able to stay motivated every single night was because he knew somewhere, somebody was watching him for the very first time and MJ wanted to make sure he didn’t disappoint them.

Silva didn’t appear as concerned about living up to expectations when asked if he regretted his actions during the UFC’s Middle East debut.

“The way I feel is my mission was completed. I came in and dominated the fight,” Silva matter-of-factly said. “I don’t feel like I owe anyone an apology right now. Sometimes fights turn out good, sometimes they turn out bad.”

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