There is little doubt in anyone’s mind that Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva is one of the most deadly fighters in the UFC, but following the loss of his middleweight title, his time at the top could be over.
At UFC 162, Silva, 38, ‘clowned’ his way to a title loss against 29-year-old American challenger Chris Weidman.
Weidman is undefeated in his MMA career with 10 wins and zero defeats following his win against the Brazilian in Las Vegas on Saturday, making him the new middleweight champion of the world.
Silva was the seven-year reigning champion with 10 successful title defences and a total of 17 wins, the longest title reign in UFC history, but now that has been brought to an abrupt end.
In the lead up to the bout there had been a large deal of speculation of Silva’s future in the UFC with him openly claiming that he would like to step outside the octagon and jump into the ring to box Roy Jones JR.
In addition, many people believed that there was no way that Silva would lose his title. MMA fans were urging UFC boss Dana White to set up ‘super-fights’ with The Spider facing off against the legendary George ‘Rush’ St-Pierre or the phenomenal talent that is Jon ‘Bones’ Jones.
All three fighters had been dominating their divisions for large periods of time. However, this all changed when Silva lost his belt to the undefeated Weidman.
Not only did Silva lose his title, but he lost a lot of respect too. His unique fighting style is something we have come to love and expect from Silva, but in the fight against Weidman he showed a lack of respect which in any sport is a dangerous move to play.
Of course, we have all become accustomed to watching Silva taunt his opponents and try and mentally beat them, but the manner in which he performed on Saturday was not the flashy, deadly striking we expected.
Instead was sloppy and it seemed that he was more interested in playing to the crowd rather than going all out to win the fight.
With an opponent like Weidman, who we have seen tear through the middleweight division, Silva should have seen the threat and instead trying to replicate the Stephen Bonnar fight should have gone out to send a message to the rest of the UFC and indeed the fighting world that he is still at the top of his game.
Although, at the end of the bout when Silva finally got to his feet, he spoke to Joe Rogan on his loss and over the sounds of the Las Vegas fans booing and jeering, said that he would not contest for the title again and dismissed the matter by making it clear that he felt that Chris Weidman is now the best, not him.
Silva intends to stay and complete in 10 more fights, but will there be an attempt to reclaim the title?
On top of that, how will Silva salvage his threatened legacy? Surely a ‘super-fight’ win would silence the critics or even the reclaiming of the middleweight title would put all the speculation to rest, but until then, Silva has to prove to the MMA world that he is still the most deadly striker.
He must ensure the embarrassing loss is not to be repeated again, or his outstanding career will be viewed not upon the 33 wins or the longest title reign, but the fall of a superstar.
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