MMA Fighter Challenges People to Punch Him in the Face, Everyone Fails

Anderson Silva’s Manager Has a Point, But It Doesn’t Matter


(A brief glimpse of an offense. Photo courtesy of SI.com’s UFC 97 gallery.)

Since Anderson Silva doesn’t seem terribly interested in defending his UFC 97 performance against critics, and because his lack of English skills makes that difficult anyway, his manager, Ed Soares, has been doing it for him.  Soares said in a recent interview that he didn’t think Silva’s fight with Leites was “a bad fight,” and even partially blamed the UFC for putting a “one-dimensional” fighter against the champ.  He also made the case for Silva’s dominance by pointing out the lack of damage he took in the fight:

"After watching the fight on TV, I thought [Silva] fought a good fight. He didn’t finish him, but I thought he fought a good fight. Technically, I really didn’t see anything wrong with the way he fought. Who goes in there and fights five rounds with somebody and doesn’t even have a mark on his face? Not too many people can do that."
[…]

"I don’t know. People have to look at it that way instead of always thinking that Anderson is going to go in there and knock people out or submit them really quick. It just doesn’t happen sometimes."

Soares is right.  It is unrealistic to think that even Silva is going to finish everyone in spectacular fashion, especially if he’s facing an opponent who doesn’t want to engage with him.  But that’s only part of the problem. 


People aren’t upset that Silva didn’t finish Leites.  They’re upset that he hardly even tried.  He was too busy trying to look smooth while tripping Leites or punching him in the thigh.  This wasn’t Georges St. Pierre vs. Jon Fitch, where the champ tried repeatedly to put his opponent away but couldn’t manage it.  This was a case of the champ fighting with a sense of entitlement, and absolutely no sense of obligation to put on a show for the fans.

Look, as rational people we all realize that every fight can’t be a total destruction.  It’s possible Silva has spoiled us with his past performances, but there’s simply no way to argue that he went into the fight with Leites with the same approach that he had against Rich Franklin or Dan Henderson.  In those bouts he was fighting to win.  Against Leites he was fighting not to lose, and possibly fighting not to get hit.

To Silva, that may define a “perfect fight.”  He didn’t get hurt, was never in trouble, and didn’t take any risks.  That’s smart if your one and only goal is to walk out unscathed and with the belt around your waist at the end of the night.  But that’s not the kind of approach that fans are going to reward.  Just ask Tim Sylvia.

Is that unfair?  Yeah, a little bit.  But that’s the life of the champ.  We expect more out of you.  Even if we didn’t, even if this was an unaired preliminary bout in front of the few hundred people who got to the arena early, it would still have been a disappointment.  This new style that Silva has developed may be effective in keeping his face pretty and his championship reign intact, but it isn’t ever going to be very popular.  If he’s fine with that, so be it.  He’ll have to get used to taking his lumps outside the cage.

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Soup Sandwich Server- May 16, 2009 at 2:43 pm
Who gives 2 squirts of rat piss... All this fight was, was an attempt at "CREATING" the best pound for pound fighter by Dana White to shut Fedor jock danglers the hell up. Dana & Joe Silva put together 2 "Gimme Fights" for Anderson Silva, (Cote & Leites) in order for Silva to break a record & give the UFC the bragging rights to having the best P4P fighter under contract. But it went wrong. Besides, neither Silva or Fedor is the best pound for pound. Fedor is great, BUT, doesn't fight in the top promotion. Fedor is also WAY too inactive to be considered the P4P King. GSP (imo) IS the P4P King right now. The guy has never had a "Gimme Fight" & has constantly fought top ranked fighters. Heads try to knock him for the Serra loss, but Serra is NO joke by any means. But Silva has enjoyed quite a few "Gimme Fights" & lost in spectacular fashion to Ryo Chonnen, (check the flying finish out if you haven't seen it) & gets nothing but praise. I'm not knocking Silva, just think he is getting over-hyped.
KingAtRock- April 22, 2009 at 1:48 pm
he could have finished him, he chose not to, to prove some kind of point and say fuck you to everybody at the ppv/watching/employing him all at once. NJ!
SCM- April 22, 2009 at 1:44 pm
yea its way better to stream. not bs justin.tv shit tho
DubYOO (still me)- April 22, 2009 at 10:46 am
totally.. leites is definitely not worthy.. even moreso now.. Anderson should have punished him for it.. but didn't. and a lot people don't wanna pay $50 for that now... eh.. so ya watch it online for free.
Anonymous- April 22, 2009 at 10:35 am
The reason he is fighting this way is the middleweight divison is the weakest in the ufc and no one can be a legit challenge to him that he hasn't already destroyed
Dubya- April 22, 2009 at 9:54 am
You're right, Jay Smith, I am fucking dumb. But not too fucking dumb to not realize how fucking dumb I am. At least I have that.

But some people have higher expectations of a champ. And some champions have expectations of themselves... BJ Penn is also world champion BJJ black belt, and if I remember correctly, GSP beat shit out of him from what was previously thought of as an unpassable guard.

In other words, the champ took the fight to the challenger, and destroyed him from the challenger's best position. GSP didn't just get the W, he BEAT BJ Penn. And did it like a Champ. Silva would rather be a Tim Sylvia-type champ.. you know the kinda champ who already has the belt and doesn't have to earn shit, right? That's what fans are paying for - a champ that does enough just to not lose.

But I'm fuckin dumb, you're right.
Crackgibson- April 22, 2009 at 8:35 am
K...so Machida is lauded and praised for his "elusive" fighting style and has been so successful in winning fights by not getting hit, winning decisions, and staying undefeated that he gets a title shot. How many KOs does Machida have? Now here's Anderson Silva, who decimated everyone before his last two fights,while one of the last two fights ended because Cote's ego was so heavy the weight of it threw out his knee, and the other fight Silva is thrown some douchebag who won't fight and lays out in the missionary position expecting Silva to lay down and spoon with him without Leites even buying him a drink first. And yet somehow Silva is the asshole. What do you want, people - more scripted fights for the sheer sake of your entertainment? Cuz the WWE could use a few more pissy demanding soap opera fans. Or you can accept the fact that this is MMA and you never fucking know where a fight is going to go, and that that is the true beauty of the sport.

Wny not blame Joe Silva? He's the one who matched Anderson with these last two unchallenging douchebags, boring Anderson and the fans in one fell swoop. And where does it say in the rule book that if an opponent lays down you have to get on the ground with him? Isn't the idea to earn that position by *forcing* your opponent to the ground so you can try to beat his ass? Is Anderson supposed to play along unnecessarily just to make everyone else happy? Fuck that; put him against someone who will actually try to fight him, and I guarantee he'll fight back.
hNic- April 22, 2009 at 8:25 am
The comments made in this article are exactly why Anderson doesn't care what anyone says. The fight went the way it did because Thales HAS NO STAND-UP! Period. If he had ANY idea how to box he would have actuially thrown punches instead of always trying to take Silva down to no obvious avail.

And why would Anderson put himself in a position to either lose or get caught (although the latter seemed FAR less likely) anyway? Any real fan of MMA knew that Silva respected Thales' ground game too much to take it there or even entertain the chance, so it should not be surprising to ANYONE that he made no attempt to be down there.

The problem is so many of the MMA fans that watch/attend don't actually know enough about the tactical aspect of MMA. They only know that someone can and ultimately should get knocked out. So they go their with that expectation built up in their minds and when it doesn't play out in real life you get what you hear now in the reactions to the fight.

Ultimately this fight was boring because it was tactical. Anderson did exactly what anyone should have expected him to do. The blame should fall on Thales (if blame should even BE cast) being very obviously one-dimensional and posessing absolutely zero skills in the stand-up.
the Canadian Chronic- April 22, 2009 at 7:45 am
i abhor dog fighting, think it is cruel and disgraceful. that being said, at least the dogs fight.
Seriously now- April 22, 2009 at 5:06 am
oh!! and for those who are saying that every fighter owes you everything because you pay their salaries... I think you would be better off with dog fights... there the poor animals don't think, they just chow each other to death... (thereby putting a "good show" for you)
Seriously now- April 22, 2009 at 5:01 am
We all know what the Champ is capable of but why did he not unleash hell back-fisting, spin-kicking, soul-kneeing-into-oblivion Leites (or Cote for that matter?) well, to me it seems very clear... He didn't have to, he was never put into a position where he had to decide to knock the guy who was trying to rip his head off out to prevent him from doing so (or getting even close to that)... all he needed to do was to outpoint a scared sh*tless opponent and he did...
Besides if giving a dead leg or the back kick tripping thing is not putting a show... then what is?... those should've been Leites' cues to start fighting out of pride (since skill was out of the question).
boo- April 21, 2009 at 10:19 pm
Another CP attempt to minimalize Silva's ability and accomplishments.... just an utterly superficial view of the fight
slapjaw ackrite- April 21, 2009 at 10:17 pm
I read a pretty interesting article somewhere comparing silva's and rjj's careers, sherdog maybe? This argument is getting way past stale
SCM- April 21, 2009 at 9:00 pm
Hey Anonymous, your a bitch. Silva is the shit and hell reign champ for a long time. get used to it punk.

@Phunnybonz: He's not retiring late this year. It would probably be next year or so as his contract still has 4 or 5 fights left for him. This is if, if, he wants to retire. He said he just wants the option to retire. No guarantees from him.
Anonymous- April 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm
Hey SCM Silva aint shit.
Phunnybonz- April 21, 2009 at 8:22 pm
CagePotato, I agree with you 150% (right along with the rest of the educated MMA community). In fact, I made some of the same points yesterday.

Some knucklehead made the comment that "Silva doesn't owe us anything". Bullshit. Silva owes us everything. "Us" being the fans. We pay his damn salary. We pay him to fight, not to avoid damage. We pay him to entertain. He has not entertained or even attempted to exert himself in his last two fights. Almost everyone, except the great unwashed here, has acklowledged this simple fact. Apparently the the people who comment here are more knowledgeable than a majority of the MMA professionals who have shared their thoughts on the fight.

To me it seems that Silva, who already expressed a desire to retire late this year, is doing nothing more than riding out his contract. Pathetic.
codes- April 21, 2009 at 6:25 pm
i dont understand how anyone is talking shit on anderson silva. so what if he didnt knock him out? anyone who says silva was not trying to engage leites is a fuckin idiot. every time silva got near him thales fell down. why the hell would silva ever fall into leites guard? thats fuckin stupid. if thales wanted to go to the ground he should have taken anderson down.. and when he did take him down silva showed that thales cant do shit to him on the ground. thales leites is a joke. anderson silva is the best fighter ever. period.
slapjaw ackrite- April 21, 2009 at 6:11 pm
The majority of the blame does belong to Leites.
Anderson Silva is a humble champ when he acts like it.
If the perfect fight is no damage, Kalib Starnes is a badass.
Many people mad at Silva wanted a KO. I wanted a fight (from both of em)
Just because I'm mad at Silva does not make me a casual fan (because I disagree with you? stupid)

Some people make the argument that martial arts are about defending yourself and not taking damage. Watch Karate Kid 3 (my bad, two K kid refs in one week), Mr Miyagi won't train Daniel because "is better not to fight." Weren't most martial arts developed to defend yourself from oppressors with guns who won't allow you weapons? Not for cage fights...If you want to be a true martial artist, you would only fight if being attacked or to protect your family, etc...not to make money in a cage on ppv for entertainment.

My favorite fights are hard fought decisions. KOs and subs are nice, but I like to see heart and determination, not classless displays of "mastery of martial arts (foot punches)."
JPFighter- April 21, 2009 at 5:21 pm
I am willing to bet that Silva's next fight will not be a main event. If it is, look for some really shitty PPV numbers. I have bought every UFC since they have been available on PPV, and I will not buy a UFC PPV that has Anderson Silva as the main event. What fucking tool this clown is. Although, I think I would buy the PPV if it was someone that I knew would attack him and drag his skinny ass down to the mat. But realistically, his next fight will be against another 185'er, so who gives a shit.
No gay- April 21, 2009 at 4:38 pm
fucking gay
BIGJUNKPAPPA- April 21, 2009 at 4:12 pm
haha


Right on. This is like porn. Noone wants to see average people fucking in the missionary position for 25 minutes. We all want to see switching positions, anal, and all the spicy shit that makes it exciting. Pretty soon nobody will buy the ppv's with anderson on them. Sorry, but that's the way it is.
The Harvester- April 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm
Just a question.. If someone is a counter fighter what gives them the right to expect the other fighter to engage them.. What if they both want to be a "counter puncher" and only attack when an opponent makes an offensive mistake. So then what happens?

Counter punching can be utilized but should it be used for an entire fight when your opponent isn't gonna fall into your trap? Are you not then expected to try and win by going on the offensive.

Its easy for Silva to say that I am a counter puncher, but what about his opponents? We are expecting them to be forced into attacking him when they know he is just sitting back waiting for it?

It seems to me this is a problem can someone that knows some shit explain this to me, it just doesn't seem fair?
cpanger- April 21, 2009 at 4:08 pm
how awesome would a super fight be between the maybe soon to be LHW champ Lyoto and Anderson, i mean for real guys! i see it being action from start to finish!!!!
SCM- April 21, 2009 at 4:05 pm
BUNCH OF HATERS. Haha Anderson will own a good portion of light heavyweights. I think his next fight should be extremely soon, and agaisnt a LHW like Jardine, Shogun, Wanderlei (if he dont go to middleweight), or Bonnar. Anderson will probably get a KO in his next fight.
grizz - April 21, 2009 at 3:20 pm
u dont like silva dont wattch his fuckiin fights
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