Here is Anderson Silva’s problem in a nutshell: If you are gonna showboat all over the octagon like Buffalo Bill, and carry on at like Crouching Tiger and Clowning Monkey – then you better knock the f*ck out of your opponent at some point before the 5th round to close the deal. Fair is only fair – both in love and in war. Fans are entitled to something for their forbearance. In MMA they pay to see people fight and not clown around like circus tricks. (DID you see Anderson Silva trying to use the referee as a tactical obstacle at the end of the 3rd round. And in response to that, did you see the irritated referee trying to push Silva towards the fight not to mention the warning to not run away from engagement in the last round. The push from the referee was a first for us – and darn amazing too.) Google Anderson Silva vs Damian Maia, UFC 112 video to get a sense of what we are talking about.
Anderson Silva’s overdue comeuppance will probably arrive via a Shogun-style or Chuck Liddell-like rock ‘n roller. His opponent-taunting and crowd-riling-clowning was the height of disingenuity. Silva was actually more culpable than his hapless opponent, of not pushing the fight to some kind of pre-5th round conclusion.
But having said that, we have to point out that UFC is just as culpable, or perhaps more so, of not finding Silva credible opponents. At this point they really need to ask him to step up the 205lb division where the likes of Shogun Rua are waiting for him. (Forget about the Machida/Silva matchup. It proves nothing beyond the voyeuristic psychodrama some people are just dying to be privy to. Besides, Anderson would probably demolish Machida, which would lead to no earth-shaking revelations.)
But back to the present, Anderson Silva clearly has a P.R. problem even by his own post-fight admission. The clowning was not the problem. The reluctance to engage from the 3rd round onwards was. And nobody can explain that satisfactorily except Anderson. Perhaps there was a vulnerability that Maia failed to fully exploit, his heroic 4th round rally notwithstanding. Silva may have put on some kind of clinic in the first 2 rounds, but that will not save him, from the debacle of the last 3 rounds. And this is something that will not go away easily given his rap sheet in two other fights. The suggestion that he may have had a physical or mental meltdown is beginning to make more and more sense. The “Oh I punished him because he dissed me” line sounds like a lot of twaddle from a guy who is clearly grabbing at P.R. straws. He should be hanging out with Frank Mir. And while on the subject, the only difference between Anderson Silva and Brock Lesnar right now is the fact that Lesnar is not in Dana’s doghouse right now.
Now having said all that, Dana White should not have put Damian Maia in there with Silva. That was clearly his and UFC’s failure. While it may be a measure of how hard it is for him to find a worthy opponent for Silva, Dana White should have just come out and said so in the name of candor. If not, that realization should have tempered his tirade in the post fight press conference. A lop-sided view of the whole thing just makes Dana look like he is covering his own rear.