I can understand the brouhaha surrounding the BJ Penn / Frankie Edgar decision – not only was it a close fight, but the asshat judges at ringside didn’t help any by scoring it with completely moronic numbers like 50-45 and 49-46. But what I don’t understand is how anyone can be defending Anderson Silva after what he did last night. The guy intentionally ruined another main event. He spat in the eye of everyone who shelled out 50 bucks to watch the event on PPV and did nothing to endear the sport to people who built a stadium to host the first UFC event in the Middle East. It was the kind of main event that would have left even boxing promoters blushing.
But there are defenders out there, so I thought I’d throw together a little response to their arguments. Here we go:
The UFC keeps giving Anderson Silva shitty competition: I’ll agree on that point, but it’s not like they didn’t try this time. Silva is the middleweight champ, so he kinda has to defend the belt. The UFC bumrushed Vitor Belfort to the front of the contender line specifically so Anderson would have someone that could offer some difficulty. I can’t tell you how much of the ‘analysis’ going around right now seems to ignore that Demian Maia was a replacement fighter. We knew going in it wasn’t an optimal choice, but it was literally making the best of the situation. A situation that Silva decided to turn into a complete debacle.
Anderson Silva doesn’t feel challenged: I have no idea how Anderson Silva feels, but if that’s his attitude lemme say this. Fighting like a fucking jackass isn’t going to earn him those challenging mega fights he wants. Every time he purposefully drops a steaming shit in the cage, he makes it less likely that the UFC is going to set up the fights he wants. The sport doesn’t exist in a bubble – it’s still a business too, and how can you take the risk of setting up Anderson Silva vs GSP when there’s even a 10% chance Silva will intentionally turn the event into a complete farce? If you think people are going crazy after this tape-delayed event in a place no one would visit if it wasn’t soaked in oil, imagine something similar going down at an event in the US with heavy ESPN coverage and over a million buys. ‘Bad for the sport’ gets thrown around a lot, but it doesn’t get much worse than a major main event devolving into a clusterfuck.
The UFC doesn’t let Anderson do what he wants to do: While the UFC has shot down Anderson’s Roy Jones Jr plans, they included his quotes about fighting at welterweight and heavyweight in their countdown show and throughout UFC 112 hyped up the possibility of a GSP fight. All Anderson Silva had to do was go in and not turn the main event into a joke. So what does he do? He turns the main event into a joke. For the third time.
It’s Demian Maia’s fault for not attacking enough: That’s a line I could have agreed with when it was Thales Leites, but if you say this about Maia, what’s your definition of ‘enough’?
Long story short, nothing justifies the behavior Anderson Silva showed again at UFC 112. It’s the kind of performance that turns people off the sport altogether, and I don’t blame Dana White for shitting kittens over it. This was a major event: two belts in a new region, hosted by the new co-owners of the UFC (themselves in charge of further expansion into new markets) in a stadium specifically built for the occasion. And Anderson Silva decides to throw a wrench into things and goof through the entire main event for no good reason. Anyone that supports that is an idiot.
(Image by Tracy Lee via CageWriter’s UFC 112 Flickr album)