Anderson Silva embarrasses himself in historic loss

Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter in UFC history.

Nothing that happened Saturday night can change that.

But, there is no denying that the way in which he lost the title to Chris Weidman at UFC 162 tarnishes his career, if even just a little bit.

We all think of great champions in any sport and we want to see them going out as a champion, giving a heroic effort, but being bested by someone who is just better than them.

With all due respect to Chris Weidman, Silva lost Saturday’s fight more than Weidman won it.

We have seen it before, Silva with his hands down, challenging his opponent to knock him out. But, unlike some previous times, Silva was making no attempt to actually win the fight.

He did his usual dodges and taunts, but instead of throwing his usual pin-point punches, he preferred to go with some open-hand slaps. He was disrespecting Weidman, as if to say “you are the guy that is supposed to destroy me?” The fight was shaping up to be more like bouts Silva had with Thales Leites or Demian Maia, where he wanted to embarrass them for 25 minutes as opposed to do his job and finish his opponent.

I have no doubt in my mind that Silva could have won that fight. I am not saying he didn’t want to, but he clearly wanted to do it with a message. We have seen fighters pay before for taunting, and Silva finally paid for his taunting.

It would be hard to imagine someone putting on a 16-fight UFC win streak like the one Silva just had. During the run, there were so many impressive knockouts and finishes. His talents are truly once-in-a-lifetime. Unfortunately for Silva, he didn’t go out as a champion. He went out as a clown, and that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.

After loss to Jon Jones, Chael Sonnen should call it a career

nullChael Sonnen has done a good job running his mouth, but now, his mouth may not be able to support his fighting career.

After losing to Anderson Silva in an underwhelming performance back at UFC 148, Sonnen was stopped in 4:33 against UFC light heavyweight champion, Jon Jones, on Saturday night at UFC 159.

Sonnen didn’t really deserve a title fight in the first place. He hadn’t fought at 205 pounds in the UFC in over six years, yet somehow got an immediate title fight with Jones.

Sonnen can sell a fight, but even his promos are outdated and tiresome. If you really want to know where Chael Sonnen gets his material, watch tapes of pro wrestling from the 90s.

I will give credit to Sonnen for being one of the best at 185 pounds, but he had no business competing against Jones on Saturday night, and with an unimpressive loss in the first round, he finds himself without any direction for his career.

A rematch with Silva isn’t in the cards and he certainly isn’t going to talk his way into a rematch with Jones after failing to put forth much offense on Saturday night.

Sonnen should do what he does best and that is sell fights, but not for himself, for the UFC. He should stick to being a broadcaster and realize that he had a successful career, despite not winning a title.

UFC 148 Results & Recap: Anderson Silva is the best

nullNot that many needed convincing, but Anderson Silva is the best fighter in the world.

There was a little bit of doubt in the minds of some due to Silva’s performance against Chael Sonnen at UFC 117, but on Saturday at UFC 148, Silva removed all doubt.

Silva stopped Sonnen at 1:55 into the second round with a barrage of strikes that Sonnen couldn’t respond to, as he defended his UFC Middleweight Championship for the 10th time.

Sonnen won the first round, as he took Silva down quickly and held him down for five minutes, but Silva showed great takedown defense in the second and used his pinpoint accuracy with his striking to end the fight.

With Sonnen past him for good, there really is no viable challengers left to Silva. Sonnen seemed to have the best style to beat Silva, and the champ still ran through him.

Silva is now 15-0 in his UFC career and just adding to his legacy as the greatest UFC fighter of all time. Perhaps a change in weight class is in order to challenge him, or perhaps he should just retire on top of the world.

In the co-main event, Tito Ortiz saw his career come to an end in a unanimous decision loss to Forrest Griffin.

Ortiz (16-11-1) a former UFC champion and now Hall of Famer, seemed to tire early in the fight, which opened the door for Griffin to pepper him with strikes. Ortiz landed a few big punches and a few takedowns, but Griffin had a 3/1 edge on total strikes and was the more active fighter.

Ortiz is going out at the right time, as he clearly is not among the best in the division and this performance proves it. For knowing it was his last bout, he didn’t have much of a spirited effort to win. For a man of his stature and his talk about being the people’s champion, he sure didn’t go out on his sword.

Griffin didn’t look at that great either, but he was definitely looking to finish the fight at the end.

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UFC 147 Main Event: Worst Ever?

nullIf you weren’t paying attention, you may not realize that UFC 147 is taking place this Saturday.

Part of the reason you may not realize this is because the UFC isn’t really going overboard trying to promote it.

The injury bug played a role in this card as the original main event was set to be Vitor Belfort vs. Wanderlei Silva. The event is taking place in Brazil and these two coached the inaugural season of “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil.”

While that fight lacks star power in the U.S., it was still a major fight in Brazil and had some meaning as Belfort was working his way back to a title shot.

However, Belfort broke his hand, and now the main event is Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva 2, a rematch of their UFC 99 main event back in June of 2009.

While the fight itself could be very entertaining, it could be one of the worst main events in UFC history in regards to what the fight actually means.

Neither fighter is anywhere near a title shot and both are on the tail end of their careers. Their UFC 99 main event was somewhat of a stretch as it was, and it has even less meaning now.

Again, I want to state that when I say “worst main event” I am not referring to the actual entertainment value of the fight. To me, main events should be left for title fights or elite top contender matchups. This main event at UFC 147 is neither.

Sure, there have been some shaky main events before like Chris Leben vs. Mark Munoz or Yushin Okami vs. Nate Marquardt, but those took place in events that aired on live television. This is actually a PPV that costs $45 to watch ($55 if you want HD).

You could even compare it to the likes of UFC 119, which had Frank Mir vs. Mirko Cro Cop as the main event, but Frank Mir was much closer to a title fight then than Franklin or Silva are now.

Really the closest fight by comparison is the main event at UFC 115 when Franklin faced Chuck Liddell. But, even that featured Liddell in a “retirement fight” that garnered some extra interest.

Hopefully the fight is explosive and gives people a reason to watch that pay their money. But, given the talented roster the UFC has these days, these types of main events should be closer and closer to extinction.

Belfort injured, Wanderlei Silva to face Cung Le at UFC 139

nullJust a few weeks after Vitor Belfort announced he would be taking on Cung Le at UFC 139, he has now had to announce he will not be fighting after all.

According to MMAFighting.com, Belfort suffered an injury that will force him out of the fight. But, the UFC was quick to find a replacement, as Wanderlei Silva will step in to take on Le at UFC 139.

Wanderlei Silva will make his return to the Octagon on November 19 in San Jose, when he takes on former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le at UFC 139.

UFC President Dana White announced today that Vitor Belfort had to pull out of his fight with Le because of an injury, and as a result Silva will step in and take it.

Belfort vs. Le had the makings of a great fight because of the speed and quickness both have in their striking.

However, Le vs. Silva should be just as good, if not better, because Silva is relentless and is willing to be knocked out in order to put on a show. Belfort is more hesitant in his striking. With Silva now in, expect fireworks and an explosive knockout when he and Cung Le face off.

Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Results: Barnett, Cormier roll

nullWell, I was wrong.

Sometimes things just don’t go your way when picking MMA fights and Saturday was that example.

I was 1-3 in my Strikeforce picks, with my lone win being Josh Barnett choking out Sergei Kharitonov.

It was a great win for Barnett, who now advances to the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Finals against the surprise contender, Daniel Cormier.

Cormier, the Olympic wrestler, used his striking to topple Antonio Silva and advance to the finals. He landed a pair of big punches early in the fight, with the second one sending Silva to the ground. From there, Cormier finished the fight with a pair of big hammer fists.

Cormier has now propelled himself into the heavyweight spotlight and a battle with fellow wrestler, Josh Barnett, should make for an interesting championship.

Cormier may have the edge with his striking and wrestling ability. That could help him stay off his back against Barnett, who should have a submission edge on the relatively new fighter.

In the other two featured bouts, Luke Rockhold upset Ronaldo Souza to win the Strikeforce Middleweight title. I didn’t give Rockhold much respect entering the bout, but he grinded a nice win over Souza, using his striking and submission defense to keep the fight in his favor. Question is, does this give Rockhold a chance to move to the UFC for a unification bout? Or does he still not catch the eye of the UFC brass?

Muhammed Lawal returned to action by KO’ing unbeaten Roger Gracie. King Mo’s big right hands ended the fight in the first round and gave him one of his most impressive wins to date.

Top 10 Middleweight Rankings

nullThe middleweight division had a big fight this past weekend but the result wasn’t too surprising.

Anderson Silva maintained his top spot in my top 10 middleweight rankings with his win on Saturday and it seems he has only one man that can truly pose a threat to his championship.

Here is a look at the top 10 in the 185-pound division in my eyes.

1. Anderson Silva (31-4) – Silva made Yushin Okami look like an amateur last Saturday and he has cemented himself as the best middleweight in UFC history. Next up for Silva will likely be a rematch of some kind, with either Chael Sonnen or Dan Henderson.

2. Chael Sonnen (25-11-1) – Sonnen hasn’t competed since pushing Silva to the limit last fall, but he is scheduled to face Brian Stann at UFC 136 in early October. Sonnen appears to be the lone hope to dethrone Silva someday, but the champion still managed to submit Sonnen despite an injured rib and 20 minutes of pummeling.

3. Vitor Belfort (20-9) – Belfort showed his explosive ability in his quick knockout of Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 133. He still may have the fastest hands in the division, but he missed his opportunity when he faced Silva back in February. A few more wins for Belfort may get him another crack at the title.

4. Yushin Okami (26-6) – Okami also had his chance, but couldn’t find a way to make his fight with Silva a grappling one. He seemed to passive and allowed Silva to get comfortable on his feet, and that is always a losing combination. Okami has to go back to the drawing board, and will likely need a long winning streak to get another title fight.

5. Michael Bisping (21-3) – Bisping is going to face off with Mayhem Miller later this year for a chance to propel himself into title contention. Bisping is still looking for a marquee win in his career and he hasn’t been terribly impressive since his TKO win over Denis Kang back at UFC 105 in 2009. Bisping needs an emphatic victory over Miller to really be considered a title contender.

6. Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza (14-2) – The Strikeforce Middleweight Champion is set to return to action next week against Luke Rockhold, who is good competition in the Strikeforce organization, but not a great opponent on the world stage. Someday, with Strikeforce slowly merging into the UFC, I would expect Souza to compete in the elite organization someday.

7. Brian Stann (11-3) – Stann faces his toughest test to date when he squares off with Chael Sonnen at UFC 136. Stann has established himself as a feared striker in the division with respectable grappling skills. In this fight, he will need to have tremendous takedown defense to keep the relentless Sonnen from getting top position.

8. Mark Munoz (11-2) – Munoz will take on Chris Leben at UFC 138 in the highest-profile fight of his career. Munoz is a grinder that has some big punching power without the technique. His strength is his wrestling, but he will mix it up with anyone. He should probably stick to the wrestling in his bout with Leben.

9. Chris Leben (22-7) – Leben breaks into my top 10 list after his impressive KO of Wanderlei Silva at UFC 132. Leben clearly has the striking power to beat anyone on this list, but lacks the grappling skills and pure boxing technique to really become a top 5 contender. His bout with Munoz will test how far his grappling has come and show if he is ready to make a serious run at the title.

10. Alan Belcher (16-6) – Alan Belcher will make his return to action in a couple weeks after an eye injury sidelined him for more than a year. Belcher was on his way to becoming a title contender before getting hurt. When he returns on Sept. 17, he will face off with Jason MacDonald, another UFC veteran. The long layoff will be something Belcher has to overcome, but a win over the submission specialist will be a nice start for his return.