One minute and twelve seconds into the second round of the UFC 162 main event, the fight world stood still. While Anderson Silva toyed around for much of the final minutes of the first round and the early second, Chris
Weidman caught the champion with a left hook, knocking “The Spider” out cold. It was the first time Silva had lost in his previous 17 matches and it ended his undefeated streak in the UFC. After losing, one must wonder if Silva grew tired, or overconfident with his winning streak. Did being the overall number one pound for pound fighter in the world make Silva train or prepare less for the fight?
For those who think that Silva’s loss had anything to do with inadequate training, you should probably take another look at the months leading up to the event and understand that it was no surprise that the UFC has a new Middleweight Champion.
Early this year, Anderson opened up his own gym in Torrance, California. While the gym will be used in the future to help bread younger MMA fighters, the last few months it has been used solely by Anderson and close friends, as he prepared for his fight against Weidman. When you are a champion like Anderson Silva, you know the dedication and effort that needs to go into a title defense. It doesn’t matter if it’s against an up and coming superstar or someone who has been around for years you need to prepare adequately. Because if you don’t, your opponent will.
Along with his new gym and his sponsorships from corporations like Nike and Burger King, as well as his past experience, it’s highly unlikely that Anderson Silva failed to prepare for this fight. Instead, many people will consider Anderson’s change of attitude and arrogance in recent months as the major reason for his demise.
Before every UFC fight, the company broadcasts a special called “Countdown to UFC”. Those who watch Countdown To UFC 162 noticed a different type of Spider. Instead of an angry or determined Silva, he seemed more lax and easygoing about the upcoming main event. Unlike Weidman, who continually said he’d do anything to take the belt that was rightfully his. Furthermore, in an action that you almost never see between fighters who will soon face one another, Anderson admitted that Weidman was better at certain part of MMA, specifically wrestling. Admitting your opponent is good is one thing, but to outright give him information that tells him he is better than you at something, that’s completely different. Unlike Chael Sonnen, who lost to Silva in both of their matches, Weidman assured fans that he would press Silva and keep him on the ground, while making the event a wrestling match.
With all that said, no one would’ve expected that the fight would end in a knockout in the second round. Especially not with a knockout that Weidman would deliver. But throughout the fight, Silva taunted the now champion. Silva would lower his hands, slap his head, and verbally assault Weidman, attempting to get in his head. While this showboating is typical Silva 101, Weidman has seen it all before and didn’t allow it to effect how he would fight. Instead, he saw his opportunity when Silva lowered his hands and caught him with a hook that was heard around the world.
Anderson Silva loosing his title had less to do with his training, than it did with his attitude leading up to the event and during the fight. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for the passion that Silva showed during the pre-fight weigh in, some would wonder if he was prepared for the fight at all. Even after Weidman was crowned the new champion, Silva said he didn’t want a rematch and was not interested in going after championship belts anymore. While no one can be sure what this means, or what the future holds for someone who dominated MMA as we know it for so many years, hopefully Dana White or someone close to Anderson can inform him that if you disrespect your opponent in the octagon, you raise the probability of getting knocked out. No matter how hard you train, no matter what sponsors you have, no matter how loud the fans scream your name, all it takes is one punch to lose a fight. And in this case, to lose the title of the Greatest Fighter of All Time.