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Greg Jackson Loved Anderson Silva's UFC 97 Style

After beating Thales Leites to defend his middleweight title at UFC 97, Anderson Silva was widely criticized for generally declining to engage his opponent and spending the final three rounds of the fight simply keeping Leites at bay with a lot of leg kicks.

But was that criticism valid? Greg Jackson, considered by many to be the best coach in MMA, says Silva's style was nothing short of brilliant.

Jackson tells Sherdog:
"I loved [his fight with Thales Leites at UFC 97]. Everyone hated it and thought it was boring stuff. I saw him reach down and punch a guy in the thigh. I love that. It's legit. To me, I was like, 'Wow, that's cool.' The side kicking, the cross kicking, doing all that good stuff ... I mean maybe he didn't commit to this position or that position, but I loved that fight; I thought it was so creative and interesting what he was doing. I really like Anderson."
What it really comes down to is a matter of your taste in fights. Many fans want to see non-stop striking, and to those people, Silva vs. Leites was boring. Other fans value creativity, and they found it fascinating to watch Silva try out new moves, like punching Leites' lead leg and crossing one leg behind the other to connect on a leg kick. The former group is obviously larger, and from a business standpoint the UFC will be better off if talented fighters like Silva give those fans what they want. But the latter group does exist, and I'm glad to see Jackson speaking up for them.

Hat tip: Bloody Elbow.

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