Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Looking for a Fight: UFC 148 Silva Silences Sonnen

Anderson Silva was able to retain his title and definitively beat Chael Sonnen (sports.yahoo.com)
When officials were done pulling Anderson Silva off of Chael Sonnen Saturday night in Vegas, and after we all gained clarity that Silva's seemingly controversial knee was actually expertly placed as only he can, the breadth of UFC fans sat back and said, "Well that was anti-climactic."

This is an all too common reaction by MMA fans expecting the seeming unexpected. Not everyone can pull of a wheel kick KO, or even more improbably expect Chael Sonnen to repeat what he did in Silva Sonnen I regardless of how you feel if Silva was injured during that fight or not.

Although the first round did look like some of the greatest hits, it was clear Silva was at least more prepared to be on his back in this fight. He defended Sonnen well, controlled him from guard and minimized damage. It wasn't until the 2nd round when Silva finally stuffed Sonnen, and Chael's infamous ill-fated spinning backfist left him at the mercy of the champ. The fight was over.

So yes, anti-climactic is one way to describe what was deemed by the UFC as their biggest fight ever (this month or this half of the year or whatever) since Chael had the gameplan, it worked for close to 6 rounds but in an audacious move for anyone not named Chael Sonnen attempted to catch Silva off-guard, thus up-and-ending the evening a little faster than the largest gate in Vegas MMA history expected.

There's no way this was going to be a repeat of Silva Sonnen I, and even if it was there would still be some disappointment in the MMA world about this.

What should be happening is before we all start going crazy for Jonny Bones vs. Anderson Silva, let's take some time to appreciate the best MMA artist that ever lived.

Apparently this guy wasn't the last emperor. There's still one out there, and he was able to further cement his throne with a couple more title scraps left under his belt.

Silva took the biggest challenge of his career, met it head on, and finished his greatest threat to date. There's different ways to look at everything that Chael was never that good or 185 division has been the weakest or whatever you like, but that would be, again, taking away from watching a master at work.

Longevity is not a gift in any sport, certainly not MMA. For Anderson to do what he has done is more than any fight fan could ask for. We just know that he needs to be challenged, he needs to be interested, and he needs to be prepared. With those elements in place, you're going to be entertained, and Anderson will probably win.

Now, whether that lurking challenge is coming at 185 or if he elects to move up to 205, that is his decision. He's earned the right to ride off in the sunset the way he wants. Fans shouldn't treat Silva as though he'll be around forever or if he doesn't fight Jon Jones it'd be a tarnished legacy. Chuck Liddell never moved up in weight, Randy Couture has double digit career losses...anyone mad at them?

Fans want what they want. I'd be happy to pay for Silva Jones, but if it never comes so be it. I'll be looking forward to the next time the Spider struts his stuff in the Octagon.

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