Fightweets: Anderson Silva to the rescue

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

No one has quite the knack for cutting through the clutter like UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.

The longest reigning champ in UFC history broke his silence (at least with North American media) recently during Tuesday's UFC 162 media teleconference and delivered his usual bundle of Anderson Silva-isms. He told reporters, among other things, that wins and losses no longer matter and that he considered B.J. Penn the greatest pound-for-pound fighter in history.

All of which is enough to keep us chattering while we await UFC 162 a week from Saturday in Las Vegas. You've got questions about Silva, Weidman, and a whole lot more, so let's get right into another edition of Fightweets.

Better if Silva or Weidman wins?

@brettappley: Is it better for the UFC to have Anderson Silva or Chris Weidman win?

If I had to pick one, I'd go with Silva. But I think the outcome of the UFC 162 main event is win/win for the UFC regardless.

Whoever defeats the UFC middleweight champion is going to become a star simply for ending both the longest title reign (which just passed the six-year, nine-month mark) and longest win streak (current 16 in the UFC, 17 overall) in UFC history. Now, if Weidman happens to be the guy to do it? A guy who is undefeated and has steamrolled the competition? One who lives near the largest media market in the country, New York City, and has a media-friendly personality? If Weidman wins, the UFC's next star is born.

Still, Silva is Silva. At this stage, the only fighter with a more prolonged stretch of undefeated excellence is Fedor Emelianenko (and if Silva is serious about fighting all the way through a long contract, and keeps winning, eventually he's going to come within shouting distance of Fedor's 27-fight streak). As long as Silva keeps winning, a superfight with Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones means considerably more money than anything Weidman can do at this stage of his career, even if Weidman becomes a draw in his own right.

Weidman wins? Good for the UFC. Silva wins? Better.

Silva's GOAT list

@torontoufcfan: What do you think of Anderson Silva's all time greats list and snub of GSP, Fedor and Jon Jones?

Well, everyone Silva mentioned -- B.J. Penn, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, and Royce Graice -- is a. In the UFC Hall of Fame and b. Either retired, or in Penn's case, well on his way there. And of the three on the "snub list," two are the fighters to whom he's most often compared and contrasted, either of whom he may end up fighting within the next year or two. And the other never fought in the UFC and was the man Silva surpassed for the No. 1 spot on most P4P polls a few years back.

So, what do we make of this info? 1. In regards to Penn, whom Silva called the greatest P4P fighter ever, I can't underscore this enough: Penn, by a wide margin, is the name other fighters have cited to me most often when they talk about fighters they admire, respect, why the became fighters, etc. Their eyes light up like a kid talking about his favorite baseball player. The only fighter who comes close to this level of reverence is Couture. Fans might focus on Penn's more recent performances, but the guys who have actually gotten into rings and Octagons remember the prime Penn. 2. Silva, as you might expect from someone in his position, has quite a healthy ego. So he's not going to put Jones and GSP up on that pedestal with those who came before him, not when he might step into the cage with one of them. 3. As for Fedor, it seems a curious omission. But, tell you what, @torontoufcfan. Monday, Silva is scheduled for a media luncheon in the LA area, the same one he blew off last month. Assuming, of course, he shows up, I'll ask him the Fedor question and tweet you the response. We aim to please here at MMAFighting.

Who's the next long-term champ?

@DharmaClarkProd I know, I'm tardy. The divisional kingpins take off work for 5 years (Silva, Jones, GSP). Who holds the belt for those years?

For five years? Man, that's a tough one. If you rewind five years to June 2008, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was the UFC light heavyweight champion and was expected to hold the belt for quite some time. Jon Jones had yet to even debut in the UFC. Yet, not only did the title change hands five times between June 2008 and Jones taking the title less than three years later, but along the way, we saw the sun rise and set on "The Machida Era," in which Lyoto Machida's name was supposed to be added to the likes of Silva and GSP.

My point here? I don't see anyone currently in the big leagues who screams "can't-miss superstar" the way Jones did when he burst onto the scene. Other then maybe adding Jose Aldo to the Silva/GSP/Jones longevity list if he decides to stick at 145 (and since his WEC/UFC reign stretches back 3 1/2 years, he's already close to that point as is), the best bet for a new dominant champion is someone who isn't even on our radar yet. Just like Jones, as a 21-year old kid from upstate New York, was tearing it up on small shows around the Northeast back in June 2008, the next Jones-like fighter, if he exists, is likely doing something similar now.

Matt Mitrione and Brendan Schaub's Twitter beef

@mikewellman88: What do you make of the Mittrione/Shaub tweets? Promoting a fight? Or have they made it too personal?

I look at it more like this is probably where Twitter beefs in MMA jumped the shark. Mitrione and Schaub have been friendly for years and their exchange came off just a bit too pre-planned looking. Other than getting a chuckle out of Mitrione's "refuse to engage" line, I glanced over it and moved on to the next thing. Is anyone out there really more interested in this fight than they were before the "beef?"

Glover Teixeira vs. Ryan Bader

@ELcujorino: I know we as fans b--- a lot, but can we call a spade a spade & admit that the Tex/Bader doesn't make sense & is a weak fight?

Yeah, at first glance I'm underwhelmed by this Sept. 4 fight, too. Teixeira has long looked like he's well beyond the Ryan Baders of the division. But if you break it down a bit further, what other options were there? Jones and Alexander Gustafsson are set to face off. Machida is facing Phil Davis in August. The only other fighters really in his class at 205 pounds at this point are Rashad Evans and Dan Henderson. Hendo is 42, fought twice in four months, and likely isn't looking to rush right into another fight right now. And in the case of Evans, he pocketed $300,000 for his loss to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in February and while UFC 161 salaries weren't released, it's highly likely he took home a similar amount after defeating Henderson. If you've already made great money for the year and have other potential options, would you rush into a fight with Glover Teixeira?

So, all things considered, I can see why Teixeira took the fight, especially since it's an opportunity to fight in Brazil. If he walks through Bader, timing could work out to face the Jones-Gustafsson winner. Teixeira made the best use of the hand dealt him.

What about Frankie?

@BenWirtz: After all of the close 5 round fights for Frankie Edgar, what are your expectations for this non-main event fight?

Mainly just that we'll get a pretty good read on where "The Answer" really stands at this point in his career. On paper, he shouldn't have much problem with Charles Oliveira. But think about what he's been through going back to his first title defense against Gray Maynard: 24 grueling rounds in 2 1/2 years against bangers like Maynard and Jose Aldo. In the case of Benson Henderson, maybe his fists aren't as lethal as the other two, but fighting Henderson is a grind and he landed that brutal, fight changing upkick in his title-winning performance.

If Edgar looks like the fighter we all know and love at UFC 162 and rolls to a win, then we're probably looking at a guy who's back in the picture. If he loses, or looks lackluster in victory (think Matt Hughes against Chris Lytle or Quinton Jackson against Matt Hamill, moments where it became crystal clear the former champ wasn't the fighter he used to be, despite their wins), then it could be a sign that all those wars have taken their toll.

Gay fighters

@AsaphBitner: Seeing the positive response to Jason Collins coming out made me think: How would the MMA world react to a gay male fighter?

After the respect and admiration bestowed on openly lesbian fighter Liz Carmouche earlier this year, I had my hopes set fairly high on the notion MMA fans were more tolerant than they've been given credit for. Then the whole Fallon Fox thing happened (the debate over whether a transgender fighter should compete against women is valid; the vitriol toward her isn't), and those who sided with Josh Thomson in his views on marriage equality (I defended Thomson's right to speak his opinion, but think the words themselves were ridiculous), leave me feeling a lot less hopeful about such matters. I'll just leave it at that for now.

This means WAR

@LiqMiguchi: After watching the WAR MMA video, would you ever let someone like Tweedale run your business?

First off, thanks for the opportunity to plug our video team's awesome look behind the scenes at WAR. They were given unfettered access to everything from the inside of Nick Diaz's house in Stockton to fight night itself and it's well worth your time if you haven't yet watched.

On first thought, I agree with you, Liq. You look at Jonathan Tweedale and it's not hard at all to envision the Diaz brothers being both broke and broken down 20 years from now. And yet, from what we saw, WAR looked like a good night of fights and a fairly well-run event for that level of fighting. So maybe we shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

@BrettAppley: What's the most underutilized technique in MMA that we may see more of over the next year?

If it was up to me, we'd see more flying scissor heel hooks. I mean, if it works on Anderson Silva it should work on anyone, right?

And while we're at it ...

@Dpop2: What's the Pats record now that Brady is gonna throw to himself and Tebow?

I see 9-7, division champs. They still do play in the AFC East, after all.

Want to be part of a future edition of Fightweets? Go to my Twitter page and leave me a question.

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