This past weekend, Anderson Silva took a controversial decision victory over middleweight contender Derek Brunson. It was Silva’s first official win since 2012 but many were surprised he got his hand raised. It was a relatively uneventful bout characterized by Silva stalking Brunson but failing to engage and there were very few flashes of the Anderson Silva who dominated the division from 2006 until losing the title to Chris Weidman in 2013. After the bout, Silva himself lamented being an “old man” but insisted he will continue fighting because “it’s in my heart.”
But perhaps some people don’t think that is for the best. On his SiriusXM radio show Thursday, UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping voiced his concern that Silva is letting down and disrespecting fans who pay to watch him by fighting without being able to “pull the trigger” anymore.
“What Anderson was doing was just kind of stalking him down and not doing anything. He was kind of disrespecting everybody there, disrespecting his opponent. At time he grabbed the Thai clinch on Derek Brunson, had the Thai clinch, but didn’t do anything. Didn’t throw an elbow, certainly didn’t throw a knee and he allowed Brunson to just tee off with like 10-, 15-punch combinations to Anderson Silva whilst Anderson just held him. It was just bizarre, and I’m watching this thinking, ‘Anderson’s gonna get knocked out because he’s holding onto this stupid, dumb Thai clinch.’
“The one time - or the couple of times - where Anderson actually threw something, Brunson turned around and literally ran away from him. You could see he was a little intimidated, he was a little bewildered, he didn’t know quite what to do. All in all, you could see that Anderson was the better fighter, but he just didn’t pull the trigger. He didn’t pull the trigger at all. People were booing in the audience, people were annoyed, people were pissed off. They paid to watch the fantastic Anderson Silva and he just wasn’t delivering.”
Silva’s inability to “pull the trigger” isn’t exactly a new development. Even during his dominant title reign, Silva was often critiqued for delivering lackluster performances like his fights with Thales Leites and Demian Maia. At one point, UFC President Dana White even threatened to cut Silva if he continued to “dance” versus opponents.
But despite the fact that inactivity has been a hallmark of Silva’s career, Bisping says his most recent stretch is a different matter. After all, Silva may have had unappealing performances before but he always followed them up with impressive showings. After the Leites fight, Silva went into the Matrix against Forrest Griffin, and after Maia, he pulled off a miracle comeback triangle against Chael Sonnen. But now, Bisping says that Silva magic isn’t showing up and it is jeopardizing the former champion’s legacy.
“I’m not trying to kick a man while he’s down, I’m really not. I bought the pay-per-view to watch Anderson Silva. Regardless of what’s happened between the two of us, I’m a fan of Anderson Silva, and he still always brings that excitement. Even still, right up until the final bell of the 15 minutes fight you still thought, ‘Hold on, is he gonna pull something amazing out of the bag?’ But he didn’t and what he did was, he allowed Brunson to outwork him so when he went to a decision, everybody thought Derek Brunson was gonna get the decision. Of course, it went to Anderson Silva which was shocking, and I guess maybe you could see an argument for Anderson winning rounds one and two, but it was just a bizarre performance and his legacy is slowly turning into that of somebody that’s - well he’s tarnishing his legacy. Let’s put it like that.”
Tarnished legacy or not, the fact that he’s still competing at this level is noteworthy. Silva is almost 42 years old and still picking up wins, however controversial, over top 10 opponents and, as far as he’s concerned, he’s still “the best in the world.”
GOAT. Anderson Silva says “I’m the best in the world, yes” after controversial win.
Firas’s AMA series is pretty good.
This Tristar series is also pretty good.
Classic handshake defense.
100 mill a knock fuck what you think pic.twitter.com/tXNQmLrnIL— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) February 17, 2017
Well! Thank you UFC it's been an awesome experience and many dreams come true. Time for me to look at what's next inside and outside the cage. New chapter starting right now ☝ !! #UFC #determination #dedication #passion #love #sport #mma #ByeByeBoss •••• And don't feel sorry for me! For those who know me for years, you all know and I know that every time I thought the worse was happening, it was to take me to something 10 times better and I feel that this is what's happening. This is best for my health and future. I am good, I am happy, I still love my sport and I still gonna fight if my fans, sponsors and promotion have my back. And if not! I'm still gonna be fine ❤!
People out here telling me I should just take it with a smile and be happy with being smacked in the face stop✋u obviously don't know me— Bubba Jenkins (@BubbaJenkinsMMA) February 17, 2017
So this makes me think GSP is legit in consideration for Bisping b/c why else would Yoel’s manager push for this instead of his title shot?
Look at Sage next to T-Wood. How in the world is he a lightweight?
Look at that hair.
Khabib is relentless.
Great training day today with teammates. #DCstillnopay #whereismoneyDC 17 days before fight. I feel good Alhamdulillah. Третья тренировка за день. Все по плану Альхамдулиллах. Все самое интересное только начинается, а точнее Диета в разгаре #ПобедатолькоотВсевышнего #ufc209 @reebok @nutrabolics @eagles_mma
Ready to return.
Sarah Kaufman (17-4, 1 NC) vs. Jessica Rose-Clark (6-3); Battlefield Fighting Championship, March 18.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2006: Tatsuya Kawajiri defeated Joachim Hansen by DQ eight seconds into the fight to retain the Shooto lightweight title. Also that evening, Shinya Aoki took the welterweight title from Akira Kikuchi.
2007: Shinya Aoki rematched Akira Kikuchi, winning a decision to retain the Shooto welterweight title.
On Saturday night, Fedor fights so hope for the best but prepare to be heartbroken as we watch more of our idols get beaten into retirement in front of our eyes.
Also, none of you care but I do and I’m certain she’ll read this at some point: happy birthday Mom. Love you and thanks for everything.
And that’s all for this week folks. Hope y’all enjoy the fights tonight and the UFC tomorrow and we’ll be back again on Monday.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.