The great champion Anderson Silva is renowned for great knockouts. He was on the receiving end for once here at the MGM Grand Garden Arena late Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Arrogance. Stupidity. Foolishness. Bizarre. Surreal. Yet the overriding feeling was that Anderson Silva beat himself, and gifted the UFC middleweight title to challenger Chris Weidman in a bizarre denouement to UFC 162, the young American taking to his new status proving his mental toughness.
"I knew he'd play games in there," said Weidman. "I didn't think it was disrespectful. He's trying to get a mental edge, get you angry, and then counter-punch. He's a counter-puncher. I just kept focused. He's not letting his defence down. He's deliberately doing that."
We had seen this before from Silva. The antics had similarities to when he fought compatriot Demian Maia in Abu Dhabi, and indulged in similar comportment. That was more mocking.
Silva spent most of the first round cleverly defending takedowns, escaping submission attempts as Weidman was the aggressor, but then tried to get into the challenger's head as dangled his chin out there, called Weidman over to the Octagon wall, falling into one of those moods at the end of round one.
Mind games. But they weren't to pay off. Silva looked better in the second, and was beginning to school the challenger in the second round when, as he had previously in the fight with Maia, dropped his hands offered his chin, feigning that he had been wobbled with a left.
Seconds later, the champion really did get clipped by a left hand, and was out before he hit the ground. Weidman, whose body language had shown an athlete confused by movement and brilliance, was not perturbed mentally. Weidman – it must be said – was professionalism personified.
"That fight cost GSP, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva a lot of money…he was link in all these fights…" said Dana White, the UFC President. "No matter what Anderson says, he will be feeling bad about what happened and will want the re-match."
"Disrespectful ? I don't know. How do you disrespect someone in a fight ? Punch in the face, pull your arm, kick you, choke you out, disrespectful ? Why ? It was a very exciting fight. I'm wet with sweat, my heart was beating fast, I almost feinted twice. I guarantee when they fight again it will be a different fight."
The ex-champion, attempting an eleventh title defence, admitted his plan had failed. Had it succeeded, we would no doubt but lauding it, but it left a sad, flat feeling. You only had to look at Silva's corner to know that.http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/sport/garethadavies/100026676/ufc-162-crazy-climax-to-anderson-silva-reign-as-clowning-gets-him-ko-ed/