The UFC and Anderson Silva
The UFC is in the unique position that shows them holding a contract over one of the best fighters MMA has ever seen. One of the top three pound for pound kings is under their rule for the time being.
On the flip side of the coin, Anderson “The Spider” Silva has been given the opportunity of a lifetime by hands down the pound for pound champ of the MMA world, the UFC. An opportunity that he seemed destined to run with.
This marriage at first glance should be one that lasts until the twilight of Silva’s career. Sadly it seems, the honeymoon now over, this may end in a nasty divorce. A divorce Silva has stated has been coming for some time now.
The fans and the sport as a whole have known for awhile about Silva’s intentions to retire after his contract within the UFC ends.
The fans expected nothing less than a 4th of July grand finale style end to Silva’s career with the UFC. And ending that was as explosive as it started. A finale that showed the UFC really test him and prove his worth and place in the history of the sport.
The UFC did not get the memo from the fans, and lined up three less than compelling match ups for Silva after the announcement. Looking back it seems the UFC could have done more to challenge the champion.
With all the options available to them and the clock ticking, they chose to give Silva a chance to jump weight and fight a journeyman at 205 in James Irvin, whom he smashed decisively. Followed up by two fights against fighters that in hindsight really had no business in the cage with Silva, and he made it clear he felt that was the case.
The last two fights showed Silva less than aggressive, non engaging, and almost comedic in his approach. He almost mocked the fighters in his actions the way he danced around shaking out his fists, bobbing his head like he was shadow boxing in a mirror.
He did not act as a champion who is defending his title should, he acted like your big brother did when you slap boxed with him.
Problem is there was a fighter in front of him threatening his belt. Well threatening in theory. Neither fighter once even came close to endangering the showboating champ. Both fighters had nothing to challenge the champ with and he made it painfully obvious with is antics in the cage.
Some say he is sending a message to the UFC, some say he is bored, some say lazy, but no one knows for sure. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter what Silva thinks or is trying to do.
He is the MW champ and should act as such. Save the opinions, messages, and points to be made for the press conference. In the cage, either act like a champion or move on.
After two consecutive less than thrilling performances by Silva, the citizens are growing restless, and the UFC is dumbfounded. The questions are many and the answers are few.
How could this happen? How could one of the greatest MMA talents walking the earth be content with hot dogging and show boating in a fight where he is supposed to defend the belt he holds so dear.
His actions over the last two fights tells us not only does he not hold the belt dear, but is content making a mockery of it during his championship fights.
It takes two to tango but simply put, if Anderson felt these opponents were so far beneath him he should have put them away as opposed to making a mockery of the championship, the fighter, and himself.
The UFC still has to fulfill the fights left on Silva’s contract. His actions over the last two fights have made him very difficult to market as a P4P king, and even as a champion at this point. He has single handed destroyed his own reputation, and really put the UFC in a pickle.
What options does Dana White have when dealing with the Spider moving forward. Some suggestions range from a super fight with GSP to moving up in weight. Perhaps they can line up a fight with Wanderlei Silva. One guarantee would be the winner of Bisping-Henderson will surely get a shot at the Spider.
What the UFC must now do is A: Discern where they can capitalize the most as far as sales in conjunction to the fights they pick. B: Discern what fighters Silva deems worthy of his max efforts. C: As a distant possibility, perhaps the UFC needs to decide if they even want to complete their contract with a fighter who really seems disinterested in competing for them.
Which option makes the most sense? At first glance, the Wandy option seems fantastic. Wandy is a rabid gorilla who will never allow a boring fight. Wandy is game, and would almost certainly force the Spider into a war.
Problem is, like Chuck Lidell, Wandy has dropped four of his last five fights. Does the UFC want to risk ending his career by handing him to Silva after asking him to drop to the MW division? Perhaps not.
GSP. That, simply put is what the people want to see. There is an unspoken P4P tournament going on in the world of MMA that started with four, and one has been eliminated in BJ Penn. The remaining three Fedor, GSP, and Silva are competing for that title with every fight.
The UFC has the luxury of holding contracts over two of the three fighters mentioned. It really is a no brainer, but the timing must come together. Silva just fought, and GSP isn’t fighting until July.
In theory that may set up a super fight for say around September or October. Does the UFC let Silva sit idle until then or throw him another low profile fighter incapable of pushing him, and risk another snoozer?
As for Bisping-Henderson, they too fight in July. So even with the obvious match up of that winner and Silva, it throws yet another wrench in the GSP theory.
The UFC will have to choose which way to go at that point. They obviously cant have their cake and eat it too in this one.
Combine the problem with the fact that even Wandy is scheduled to fight in June, and you have the three best options to throw at the Spider tied up in a one month span between June and July. Any of the three scenarios must be put on hold to both allow the fighters in question to fight, and heal for a match up with Silva.
The problem compounds with the fact that the UFC must schedule the other fighters as well, alleviating them for yet probably at least another three months, no matter who they pick.
So here they sit at square one. What to do with Silva. Any viable opponent that they really could capitalize on, and challenge the Spider at the same time, is tied up essentially for the next five to seven months depending on how their scheduled fights go.
The one thing that can fix all of this is Silva. He could rededicate himself, show more respect to prospective opponents, and act like a fighter not an entertainer. If he had already done that, we may still be talking about his greatness as opposed to this funk he is in.
Had he attacked those who were beneath him, he could have proven his quality once again, instead of displaying his lack of ambition within the division he has ruled for so long.
Problem is the cats out of the bag. The UFC will be hard pressed to sell another PPV card with Silva as the headliner, on his name and reputation alone. Something has to give here. Something drastic must be done.
They can't feed him another sub par fighter and hope he wants to fight that night. That risk has been taken.
Maybe, just maybe, they should allow him to walk away. It really seems that is what he wants anyway. They must weigh the options. Is a lackluster Spider, better than no Spider at all? Can a lackluster Spider do mare damage than good?
There is a saying. Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me.
The UFC may learn a thing or two from that.
Re: The UFC and Anderson Silva
a lackluster spider won't really hurt the organization, it will just mean a couple crappy fights plus the ufc's business philosophy is to hold people to their contracts - showing they mean that alone is worth keeping him
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