(Photo courtesy of MMA Weekly.)
After a bizarre UFC 90 main event that saw middleweight champ Anderson Silva try to help Patrick Cote off the ground mid-fight, circle the cage with his arms down, and whip his hands around in a kung fu-esque display, there were many fans who thought Silva was, oh, I don’t know, not taking Cote seriously? But despite our attempts to guess his motivation, Silva says his only concern was winning the fight. As he told Sherdog:
“There are many people saying I was disrespecting Cote, but this is absolutely not true. My game plan since the beginning was fight five rounds, inducing him to commit mistakes and capitalize on that during the first three rounds and look for the knockout during the fourth and fifth rounds. It was working, and the biggest proof of that is that I almost didn’t waste any blows. I connected with a couple of good punches and knees, but unfortunately he got hurt and the fight was over. This is not my fault.”
Taking Silva at his word, maybe he’s only guilty of showing Cote far more respect than fans thought the challenger deserved, which is sort of ironic in light of their subsequent criticisms. Still, it wasn’t the kind of fight that people paid to see. And Silva’s striking maybe wasn’t as effective as he thought it was; by Compustrike’s count, he only landed 39% of his arm strikes — decent, but well below his average.
In a related story, Fighters Only is passing along the rumor that Silva could meet Chuck Liddell in a headlining bout at the UFC’s February 21st card, which will be held in London. When asked about the rumor, Silva told Sherdog “Thank you for the information, I didn’t know about that. Let’s see what [Dana White] will say.”