I was as shocked as most when Weidman floored Silva at the weekend. After watching the fight several more times since, I’ve started to question my own recollection of his previous fights and performances… Is it possible that Anderson isn’t as great as we have been lead to believe? Before we take a quick look at his UFC record as champion, I want to state for the record that I’ve enjoyed watching Silva fight, with a couple of obvious exceptions, and consider myself a fan…
(thanks to Wikipedia for the information)
10-14-06 Rich Franklin - Do we consider Franklin a true champion (I know he held the belt, but I’m sure you know what I mean) or a journeyman?
07-07-07 Nate Marquardt - Good fighter, but potential champion?
10-20-07 Rich Franklin - How much better was he this time?
03-01-08 Dan Henderson - Hendo is not my favorite fighter, but I consider this one Silva’s two best performances
07-19-08 James Irvin - He won three of his next nine fights and just stood there getting hit…
10-25-08 Patrick Cote - I don’t remember being impressed with this fight – although that might be due to the way it finished?
04-18-09 Thales Leites - Decision victory
08-08-09 Forrest Griffin - Another LHW that stood there waiting to be hit…
04-10-10 Demian Maia - HORRIBLE fight
08-07-10 Cheal Sonnen - I genuinely regret not seeing this live – but that being said, Cheal Sonnen might be well known, but it’s not for his ability to fight (and Silva was injured?)
02-05-11 Vitor Belfort - The other genuinely impressive performance since becoming champion
08-27-11 Yushin Okami - Do we consider Yushin to be “world class”?
07-07-12 Cheal Sonnen - The only thing that changed was Silva wasn’t injured. Opponent quality remained sub-par
10-13-12 Stephan Bonnar - Another LHW that just stood there getting hit
07-06-13 Chris Weidman - Oh dear…
So a couple of thoughts – we’ve all heard the phrase “iron sharpens iron” in other words, as a fighter you need to face a beat the best and keep being challenged in order to improve. Can we really claim that Silva has been challenged since he won the title?
I agree that simply winning that number of fights consecutively IS impressive, due to the sudden and numerous was that fights can end, but best of all time? (BTW a friend of mine from the twenty second century sent me a message recently – apparently we need to wait until 2094 before we start claiming best of all time…)
My final observation is that Silva has a Nike endorsement and nine/ten fights on his contract… it won’t surprise me if he fights (and loses) well into his 40s in order to keep the Nike and UFC cash flowing…. he claims no interest in the belt, but “loves to fight” – tell him to visit Bristol on a Saturday night – he can fight as much as he likes!
If Silva was genuinely the boat/goat then he would be scared to jump into a BJJ fighters guard – but hell, anyone tries to take him down and he squawks that a baby and insist that they “come on man, let’s fight”. The boat/goat would engage wherever necessary…
Silva was IMO just an overrated striker who was handed a long string of mediocre opponents.
If you really want to get technical who do you consider the best? You are completely ignoreing the time frame he fought these guys. Was Rich Franklin not the best MW at that time? Was Forrest Griffin not the best LHW 8 months prior to fighting Silva, Was Henderson the undisputed pride lhw/MW champ a mediocre opponent.
Look at Jon Jones let time go by and you can discredit every great fighter he beats. When you are the champ, everybody seems mediocre as there is no higher place/ rank they can get without beating you. If they don't beat you where do they go, or be ranked from there.
Here is a perfect example if I'm the great hw, and you are the second greatest hw, if you can't beat me, does that mean you suck? Does it discredit my legacy because you arent good enough to win the belt? At the end of the day the guys Anderson fought had a rightful path for a title shot.