Anderson Silva: You’re Bad for the Sport of MMA

If you haven’t already watched UFC 112, stop reading this post right now.

First, a disclaimer: I try not to be too much of an “armchair fighter” – with no background in fighting myself, I really have no idea what professional MMA fighters go through in and out of the ring, and I think there’s a limit to the amount of criticism one can dish out when one hasn’t experienced anything remotely similar to what these fighters face. Just stepping in the ring earns my basic respect, but I’m so ticked off about this, I just have to write about it…

On Sunday, I watched UFC 112 with a friend of mine. It’s one of the first times I recall watching an event and feeling utter disgust and contempt for one of the fighters. That fighter is Anderson Silva. If you haven’t heard what happened, read this article first. What Silva did was beyond disrespectful; I think by now we’re used to seeing him dance around when he fights (he’s a prototypical counter-puncher if there ever was one), but he used to finish the fight. He used to knock guys out. He’s had some tremendous highlight reels, and he’s truly a gifted athlete. The way he moves and strikes makes him one of the best fighters on the planet. But the past few fights he’s lost his aggression, instead choosing to dance around his opponent. On Saturday at UFC 112, he crossed the boundary from being a bit of a showboat into the realm of being bad for the sport of MMA. Every fighter is an ambassador for the sport, whether they like it or not, and the sense of honour and respect that 95% of the fighters show in the ring is one of the reasons I enjoy the sport.

Anderson Silva spent the first three rounds of the fight toying with Damian Maya, putting on a ridiculous show that looked more like Cirque du Soleil performance than an MMA fight. He could have, and should have, knocked Damian Maya out. The next two rounds he danced around Maya, hardly throwing a punch – it got so bad that the referee threatened to take a point away from Silva for a lack of aggression. At the end of the fight, Dana White didn’t even put the belt around the waist of Anderson Silva – White gave it to Anderson’s trainer and walked away. Joe Rogan asked Anderson Silva one question, then ended the interview. The disgust from everyone who watched that fight was palpable.

Anderson Silva needs to re-think why he’s in the sport of MMA and change the way he fights the next time he steps into the ring.

UPDATE: This video below is quite interesting in light of what happened in the Silva fight. Irritating buzzing throughout the whole video though…