UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva authored one of the most dramatic comebacks in MMA history when he rallied from the brink of defeat to submit Chael Sonnen in the 5thRound at UFC 117.
In his seventh consecutive title defense and 13th straight win overall, Silva showed championship levels of heart and grit Octagon fans never knew he possessed. It’s likely because he hadn’t been pushed in a 185-pound scrap since entering the organization a few years back.
Yet after their instant classic, it was Silva who received boos from the boisterous audience. The Oaktown faithful cheered loudly for the chatty challenger, who in defeat proved that Silva is quite beatable.
Although most would believe his antics at UFC 112 against Demian Maia is what ignited the fans’ ire, it could very well have been what he said following his emotional come-from-behind win at UFC 117.
“I knew I was losing the first 4Rounds,” the champion admitted. “Not to make any excuses, but a week-and-a-half ago I hurt my ribs. The doctor told me not to fight, but for [the fans] and the UFC, I came out here and fought.”
Regardless of who you are, MMA enthusiasts have never shown any sympathy towards a fighter who utters anything that may sound, smell or fell like an excuse. Although Silva reiterated at the post-fight press conference that he wasn’t offering up any reasons as to why he wasn’t at his best, the message from the masses was already sent.
It appears as though the sting of “The Spider’s” recent lackluster performances inside the Octagon, Saturday night excluded, is still there with the fans and their adoration is something he’s going to have to earn back over time. In addition, it’s hard not to like Sonnen for the entertainment value he brought to the main event – before, during and after.