Sunday, July 7, 2013

Silva Gets Knocked Off His Unicycle At UFC 162!

I knew that Weidman was going to make Silva pay if "The Spider" clowned around.  Nonetheless, the ending to the main event was still ridiculous and I'm continuing to laugh my butt off a day later.  On a side note, I never thought that I would see Usher at a UFC event.  That was pretty wild.  However, to get back on topic, here are my thoughts on each individual bout:

Swanson vs. Siver: This fight was a wild striking battle that included a cartwheel kick and a crazy judo arm-toss by Swanson.  Siver fought his heart out, but was ultimately dropped by a combination that was punctuated by a fierce right hand.  Swanson then finished the fight with hammerfists and punches on the ground.  In a great display of sportsmanship, he refused to continue beating Siver when he saw that he was out.  After Siver was unconscious, Swanson looked at the ref and held his arms out in disbelief when the fight still hadn't been stopped.  Swanson said he was going to leave it up to the fans regarding whether or not he got another title shot.  After this awesome performance, I definitely believe that he should get one after the Korean Zombie.  At the very least, he should get a fight with Frankie Edgar.

Munoz vs. Boetsch: This was another crazy fight, only it was high octane grappling instead of striking on steroids.  Again, the man who came up short put up a valiant effort.  Boetsch flipped Munoz over twice after being taken down, and almost got a guillotine choke and a Japanese necktie in Round 3.  However, "The Filipino Wrecking Machine" showed how he earned his nickname with several takedowns, and going "Donkey Kong" on "The Barbarian" with brutal body punches and hammerfists throughout the bout.  The highlight was when Munoz threw two diving punches at the end to put an exclamation point on his unanimous decision victory.  I also love how he gave glory to God in his victory.  He called out Weidman for a title shot during the post-fight press conference.  I don't think he's quite ready for that, but I'd love to see him take on the winner of Okami vs. Souza.

Kennedy vs. Gracie:  I look forward to the day when a Gracie becomes a champion in the octagon again.  For that to happen, they really need to work on their striking.  The days in which Royce embarrassed people who were clumsy on the ground have backfired on the Gracies in the professional fight scene because nearly every fighter now has Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training.  In other words, they no longer panic when someone takes their back and gets them into a body triangle, like Roger Gracie did to Tim Kennedy.  Through experience, endurance, and a more well-rounded fight game, Kennedy managed to grind out a victory through striking Gracie in the clinch and tiring him out.  The leg kicks he threw in Round 3 certainly helped, too.  Was it the most exciting fight to watch?  No, but Kennedy's strategy was effective, and proved that, in MMA, it's better to be "good enough" in many things than outstanding in one area to the neglect of all others.

Edgar vs. Oliviera:  I was really shocked that Edgar wasn't able to finish "Do Bronx."  Even though "The Answer" won, Oliviera really made him work for it.  The highlight was definitely Oliviera getting Edgar into a guillotine choke after one of Edgar's trademark slams.  I knew Edgar wouldn't tap, but it was truly a testament to Oliviera's craftiness and resilience.  Oliviera's Muay Thai striking also looked amazing.  Nonetheless, Edgar had more speed and more heart, constantly pressing forward to pepper Oliviera with boxing combinations and maintaining top position whenever they went to the ground.  I thought that featherweight (Aldo excluded) would be easy for Edgar after dealing with the shark tank that is the lightweight division.  However, last night, I was proven wrong. 

Silva vs. Weidman: Okay, so you are up against a focused and hungry contender who has proven that your weakness (wrestling) is their strength by taking you down quickly in the first round and nearly getting you into a leg lock.  Do you:

A) Bring all of your experience and skill to bear in order to overcome your toughest challenge yet?


B) Drop your hands, do the Ali shuffle, and attempt Matrix-style evasion tactics like a showboating clown?

Guess what Silva did?  Option B.  Guess what happened?  Weidman knocked him the heck out with a left hook in Round 2.  There is a difference between getting a mental edge over your opponent and showing complete disdain and hubris.  Silva crossed that line last night (again) and this time, he paid for it.  It would be like Goliath bending over, taking off his helmet, giving David his sword, and daring him to chop his head off.  Slice!  Bye bye, champion!  Or, in this case, bye bye UFC middleweight title! 

The most infuriating thing is that Silva still moved with as much speed and athleticism as a 25-year-old prodigy.  He simply let his overconfidence get the better of him.  I honestly wondered if Silva took a dive at one point during the night.  Based on his post-fight speech, in which he said that he was tired and would never fight for the belt anymore, I almost believed it.  Then I remembered that he had pulled the same sort of antics against Forrest Griffin, Demian Maia, and Stephan Bonnar, and my inner skeptic woke up.  I can't read the mind of "The Spider", but I feel that his post-fight speech about not wanting a rematch, being tired, etc., is more about saving face after realizing that he made a fool out of himself.  At any rate, once everything sinks in, I think that Silva will eventually call in that rematch clause, and if he does, I hope that he actually makes a real effort. 

On the other hand, I'm proud of how Weidman conducted himself.  He was clearly agitated when Silva started goofing off, and even admitted it during the press conference.  However, he kept his cool, stayed focused, and let his fists do the talking.  He was humble in victory, saying "Thank God.  He gave me the power to do it."  He also showed respect to his foe, saying that he looked up to Anderson Silva.  Weidman has said that he was a Christian before this.  However, unlike many others who make that claim, he actually seems to act like one, so I hope that he has a long reign as a UFC champion. 

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