Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pound for pound is not just about results


Its 1:35AM, I just finished watching UFC 112 and am listening to the post fight press conference as I type. Originally, I had every intention of making this week's column related to tonight's UFC; but, only as part of an exciting nine days of MMA where it was sandwiched between the exciting second season debut of the upstart 'Bellator Fighting Championships' this past Thursday and the potentially explosive 'Strikeforce' card next Saturday on CBS.

However, after tonight's main event my emotions are so passionate right now, there is no question I have to write about UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva. The reason being what I feel was a performance not worthy of a champion. Let me say that my sentiments did not just come about after the fight, but rather immediately after the first round.

As I watched the fight unfold, I turned to the two friends I was watching the fight with and said, "For all the shaking and baking Anderson Silva does in the cage, he really does nothing." Sure he hit Demian Maia, whenever he decided to attack, but it seemed he was more content to try and mock him for some reason. Problem is he made himself look like a fool in the process and that was even before round two where he took it to another level.

Sadly, I'm not talking about his fighting, but rather I'm talking about his gestures, taunting and overall lack of respect for his opponent. Usually an extremely respectful and humble fighter, Silva decided to question Maia's strategy and overall manhood as a fighter during the second round. He repeatedly stopped to do things such as throw his hands up in supposed disgust, pound the mat with his hands, hit his own body with his fists and verbally chastise his opponent.

All the while though, I noticed while he is doing all this, it is he who is making no attempt to go in after his opponent who was clearly overmatched on their feet. To Maia's credit, he never responded to any of Silva's antics during the round; he maintained his course of action, which unfortunately wasn't much. However, in my eyes it wasn't his fault.

Maia's game plan was simple, get the fight to the ground where his dominant jiu-jitsu skills could come into play. He was unable to do that though as he could never get close enough to Silva to clinch and wasn't quick enough whenever he attempted to shoot in on the champion. The obvious disparity in skills standing up is the reason for my disgust in Silva's performance. He could have easily ended the fight, had he decided to be a finisher or maybe even a fighter; instead he decided to be neither.

During round three and for the remainder of the fight, it was he who was doing the back pedaling and avoiding confrontation. Maia, whose nose was probably broken and whose left eye was swollen shut, was the one stalking his opponent trying to get Silva to engage. For all the talk Anderson Silva was doing with his antics earlier, he did nothing to back it up.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one that felt this way as boos began to rain down on the champion while chants for Maia could be heard in the crowd. Even the referee called for time in the last round to let Silva know about his effort or lack thereof; remember, this is the champion.

During the post fight press conference, Dana White's disgust was evident, which made me feel justified in writing this column, but what sealed it was Silva's response. Instead of owning up to his woeful performance, he actually blamed Maia for disrespecting him before and during the fight. He said, Maia'a comment before the fight about getting an arm or his neck was personal.

I heard the comment he referenced during UFC's 'Countdown' show and there was nothing disrespectful about it. The bottom line is Silva, who is continuously mentioned in the discussion of "best pound for pound fighter," fails to realize that you can have all the skills in the world, but if you don't perform, nobody cares about the end result.

2 comments:

  1. It's funny Sammy, after all the talk, after venting my frustrations to Junkie, I thought "You know who I really want to hear from? Sammy."

    Silva as a PPV draw, as a Champion and as a Fighter has taken a severe dive.

    Peace,

    Ravyn

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  2. Sam, i didn't get to watch the event but from all the clips of the fight to be the champ you gotta beat the champ, Maia was not afforded the opportunity to really engage. As for Silva, make hime fight a mandatory contender and i hope Dana White's message did not fall on def ears.

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