Wednesday, July 10, 2013

King of King of Fighters: Anderson Silva

This past weekend's UFC 162 marked the end of an era.  Undisputed middleweight champion and pound for pound greatest fighter in the world today, Anderson "The Spider" Silva was knocked out by challenger Chris Weidman.  Many a fan relished the sight of the king of kings being taken out while clowning around in the Octagon.  Was he too old?  Too slow?  Had the sport passed him by?

Nope, he just lost the hunger.  Like any band that starts out exciting and raw, after a few successful albums and endorsements, what is there to be hungry for?  Here's a guy who hasn't lost a bout since 2006, went undefeated in TWO weight classes in the UFC and is pushing 40 with a wife and kids.  Sure he's had some lackluster showings but there have been plenty of snooze fests in the UFC.

This past Saturday, The Spider employed his usual antics but this time they backfired.  Will the loss refuel his fire?  I doubt it.  The guy has been fighting a long time and put on some of the most exciting displays of martial arts prowess, accuracy and creativity we've ever seen.  He just doesn't need it anymore.  And he probably hasn't blown his earnings on an extravagant lifestyle that will require him to keep fighting into old age and humiliation.

How anyone can dispute his claim to be one of if not the greatest boggles the mind.  Let's take a quick look at his UFC history, shall we?

Destroyed Chris Leben who was on a 6 fight win streak.
Destroyed champion Rich Franklin who was on an 8 fight win streak.
Seemingly in trouble against arguable contender Travis Lutter, who didn't even make weight, comes back and takes it with ease.
Destroyed Nate Marquardt who was on a 6 fight win streak.
Destroyed Rich Franklin again.
Destroyed Olympic wrestler and Pride Fighting Championships favorite Dan Henderson.
Jumps weight class for shits and giggles, destroys James Irvin.
Was in no trouble against Patrick Cote (who injured his knee mid-fight) who was on 5 fight win streak.
Coasts to an easy decision win over Thales Leites, who was 5 fight win streak.  Sentiment begins to turn on the champion.
Jumps weight class, destroys former champion Forrest Griffin who runs out of the cage in embarrassment.
Coasts to another win against Demian Maia, who was 12-1 going in.
Gets pushed to the limit by Chael Sonnen, submits him just to prove a point.  Bandwagon fans rejoice that this could be the beginning of the end for the champion.
Destroys former champion, Vitor Belfort, who was on a 5 fight win streak, with a frigging front kick to the face supposedly taught to him by Steven Seagal.
Destroys perennial title contender, Yushin Okami, who was 10-2 in UFC.
Destroys trash talking Sonnen again.  I wish he'd beat up on him more.
Jumps weight class to save UFC 153 main event and destroys Stephan Bonnar who was on 3 fight win streak.
Clowns and gets caught, loses to Chris Weidman.

Other contenders?  Fedor is great but his resume isn't any stronger than Silva's and The Last Emperor was annihilated in 3 straight fights.  Chuck Liddell and his three straight KO losses?  Tito Ortiz didn't win a fight for five years.  Randy Couture with his gifted opponents and title shot?  Georges St. Pierre has never jumped weight classes and hasn't finished a fight in 4 years.

In the end, Anderson Silva didn't lose for 7 years, defended his title 10 times and only went to decision twice in his 17 fights in the UFC.

Yup, greatest of our time.

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