To Catch You Up:
Last night the UFC headed into their first PPV inside the ESPN era with hopes of Robert Whittaker defending his Middleweight Title against Kelvin Gastelum, and as usual the MMA Gods struck down on the promotion and Dana White was somewhere banging his head against a wall as the news broke on Whittaker having to pull out due to hernia. First reported by ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Whittaker was having pains the previous night after the weigh ins and just under 3 hours before the first fight was about to kick off on UFC Fight Pass we had no Main Event.
UFC did an amazing job of replacing the main event with the fight many fans were anticipating much more than the title in Anderson Silva vs Israel Adesanya with the exception of the fight remaining only 3 rounds (15 mins).
After this news broke I immediately went live on my periscope account to discuss with fans what I was expecting to see with Silva vs Israel Adesanya and just as I predicted Anderson Silva seemed to coast throughout the fight. As always Silva was amazing with his reflexes and timing but just didn’t have that pep in his step like he once had when he was fighting for something like chasing a title shot or defending the title and breaking records. It was almost like he was holding back his skills and traded cockiness for points as his opponent took advantage of those opportunities Silva was giving up.
Going into the 3rd and final round most of the MMA Media scene along with fans had it 19-19 meaning it came down to this round. Don’t get me wrong this fight was very exciting but like one of my periscope followers said “its more of an anticipation over excitement” because we all know that at any second Silva can land a master shot and end the fight but it just didn’t happen. Silva coasted throughout the final round and the judges sided with Israel via unanimous decision, allowing him to move forward and was promised next in line for a title shot.
As a long time fan its hard for me to say Anderson Silva is washed up because as we saw last night his timing and reflexes are still top in the sport even at 43 years old. It just seems like he doesn’t have the fire in his eyes anymore that use to drive him. Most fight fans will say he hasn’t been the same since the Weidman fights 5 years ago when he was invincible in the eyes of everyone only to pay the ultimate price for his cockiness and underestimating his opponent and was dropped, ending the streak and ending an era. I just don’t agree with this! Hear me out, yes he lost the fights to Weidman and yes the Diaz fight for his return 4 years ago was underwhelming I have to put an astrict next to his fights that followed. In the controversial Bisping fight I sided with Silva winning the fight after Bisping ate a flying knee while pointing to the canvas alerting Herb Dean of his mouthpiece. All refs say at the begging of every fight to protect yourself at all times and there was no null in action either since Silva was walking him down after landing a combo. The adrenalin dump he had from that moment thinking he won the fight was devastating to the rest of his performance.
After that loss he took a fight on short notice at UFC 200 vs current champion Daniel Cormier, to save the day when Jon Jones fell out of his fight due to a dirty test. Despite taking the fight on short notice he didn’t do bad in the fight and even came close to finishing DC after landing a heavy leg kick to the abdomen only to run out of time.
He then moved on to beat Derek Brunson and some people said they had Derek winning and felt as if Brunson was start struck from Silva and was hesitating due to the patterns of the past with Silva pulling a trick out of his hat to end the fight. With all the anger from fans it is still a win in the books. And that got us to this fight we saw last night.
This is why I don’t believe Silva is washed up but rather is no longer motivated and has lost his drive that once fueled his performances. Its almost like he’s taken on the teacher role in those classing Kung Fu movies or as fight fans now call this role “gate-keeper”. He can still very clearly compete with the best the sport has to offer and with only a few fights remaining on his contract you have to wonder what is next for the legend?
Well in case you missed it Silva called out Diaz for a rematch and to some of our surprise I must say. It may be a few years to late but I still hear a lot of people saying the would love to see him in a real super fight with GSP. In this sport you really can’t look into the future since freak accidents occur all to often so with that in mind we will just have to wait and see.
What did you think of the Main Event from last night? Comment below or tweet me at @evil_ecco or message me on instagram @PureEVilMMA_ also on facebook via @PureEVilMMAs