There is no doubt that Anderson Silva is one of the greatest fighters in UFC history. However, in the area of social media, what have you done for me lately is what fans are asking. Silva won 16 straight fights in a seven year run from 2006 to 2013 but since he defeated Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153 “The Spider” has gone 0-4-1.
It can be argued that Silva actually defeated Nick Diaz at UFC 183 but after getting popped in a post-fight drug test the win was overturned and ruled a no contest. Last February the former middleweight champ lost a controversial decision against Michael Bisping. The fight could’ve been stopped but was allowed to continue and “The Count” won a narrow decision. In Silva’s last outing he took a fight with Daniel Cormier at UFC 200 on just a few days notice and came on the short end of a decision to the light heavyweight champ.
With the fight against Brunson upcoming Silva needs a win badly to be taken seriously. He’s been getting by on his legacy and popularity but if he gets dominated by the younger and more dynamic wrestler Brunson we might be seeing the last of Silva next month in New York.
Brunson is a tough matchup for Silva. He came from a legit wrestling background, and as Chael Sonnen showed us a good wrestler can give “The Spider” fits on the ground. He’s also quietly won five of his last six and with a win over the legend will be in line for a big fight this summer. The UFC has put themselves in a win-win situation. If Silva loses they have a younger fighter to promote and build around. Should Silva win at UFC 208 they can say that Anderson is back and get a few more big fights out of him before he retires.
Silva took the fight with Brunson on three weeks notice so the UFC can always say he helped the company out and added some star power to UFC 208. But it’s getting harder and harder to take Silva seriously, especially when he keeps losing after being so dominant for so many years.
Everyone was so excited to see BJ Penn return last week. But when he got destroyed and looked overwhelmed it’s really sad. Hopefully Silva can go out on top. He deserves that. But if he’s willing to keep getting knocked out like Chuck Liddell did in the end, Dana White may not be able to save Silva from himself. WME just paid $4 billion for the UFC. If they need Silva to show up to round out a fight card and sell pay per views they aren’t as willing to make him walk away like the Fertittas did with aging stars like Matt Hughes and Liddell.