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Beware: Anderson Silva Is Crabby


(Ah, the good ol’ days. Photo courtesy of ESPN.)

In the last nine months, Anderson Silva has given us two title defenses marked by maddening stretches of inactivity, and fans have responded by giving him heaps of abuse. And the fact that he’s no longer considered the UFC’s thrilling golden boy who can do no wrong seems to have changed Silva in a fundamental way. Gone is the cheerful, lovable Spider, and in his place is a dude who has had it up here with the bullshit. Two examples, from recent interviews:

On the fans who booed during his recent fights: “At the end of the day, yeah, I’m there for the fans, but I’m the one who’s putting my body and my life in danger every time I step inside the Octagon. So, a lot of times when people aren’t as educated in this sport, it’s really hard for them to understand. I feel I went in there and did my job, and if people are booing, it’s from a lack of understanding of the sport, because I went out there and executed a good game plan, it was just unfortunate that my opponents didn’t fight back.”


On the UFC 104 title fight between Lyoto Machida and Mauricio Rua: "I’m not saying Shogun is not prepared but how long did Lyoto have to wait to get a title shot? The truth is Shogun [won two fights in a row], and how many fights did Machida have to do? It’s obvious something is up. I’m not here to talk bad words on anybody but life is made of chances and I said to our managers this fight shouldn’t happen. Shogun didn’t fight enough to deserve the belt. The thing is precious and if I was Lyoto I wouldn’t accept. He is a great champion and must be respected but this is my opinion."

Here’s the pitfall for any professional athlete when they reach a great level of success — forgetting that the sole purpose of your job is to entertain fans. Swinging a bat at a ball or throwing a ball into a hoop has no intrinsic value in itself, when removed from an arena full of people who are paying to see it. I worry that Anderson Silva is starting to fall prey to his own hype. A booing crowd is like a bad performance review from your boss; shape up or get lost. Insulting fans for not "understanding" the sport they’re watching isn’t exactly the way to get them back on your side.

And at what point did Silva start thinking that a champion should be able to refuse challengers who didn’t have to wait as long for a title shot? (Of course he has a point about Rua’s two-fight win streak, but if nobody else is ready to fight Machida at the moment, Shogun is a pretty solid stopgap solution.) Is this the Anderson Silva we can come to expect from now on? Is the hunger and humility gone for good?

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JPfighter- July 30, 2009 at 6:55 am
Saku,

Let's just say I wouldn't want to be partners with you in a fight promotion. It wouldn't last as long as Affliction did.
saku- July 30, 2009 at 3:15 am
@JPfighter

You are obviously right about the PPV numbers but in my opinion this is not Silvas fault. He enters the cage to win fights and not to sell PPV. The UFC has to make changes in the scoringsystem or introduce something like a yellow card to provide fights which the fans enjoy. They want people to watch the fights but Silva gets his paycheck in every case and only cares about two things: the outcome of the fight and his health.

To blame Silva for not being exciting enough isnt the right way because it will lead us to scripted fights. As MMA evolves there will be more and more professionals whos primary goal will be to just win fights. Ofcourse the UFC wants it to be exciting and sell it to the crowds, but then they should provide the right framework. You cant seriously try to tell a fighter how to do his job as long as hes successful. Note that the success of a fighter in the UFC is something different than the success of the UFC itself.
Dana should not criticize Silva but should be criticized for the flaws in his product. And by those flaws i dont mean the best fighters in the world.




T BONE- July 29, 2009 at 3:58 pm
I honestly think he was too nice with his last 2 opponents... like, he'd feel bad for smashing their face in cos they weren't even a challenge to him u know? He probably had bigger challenges sparring in the lead up to it. I think Forrest is gonna get a taste of the old spider
JPfighter- July 29, 2009 at 3:40 pm
@saku

"As long as the rules and the scoringsystem allow him to do what he does, nobody can complain."

Tell you what. Go start up a fight promotion with a group of fighters that have this attitude, and see how many PPV's you are going to get.

So, the way fans will "complain" is by simply not buying PPV cards that are headlined by Anderson Silva. In fact, he draws the smallest PPV numbers of any UFC champion. Seems odd, considering that he is supposedly the best P4P fighter. How could that be? Hmmm. Think about it. Because nobody wants to see this new-found bullshit point-system style he has adopted in search of the "perfect fight". What a load of crap.

Look, Dana White himself has openly criticized Silva for his bullshit. Why? Because Dana knows that the fans aren't going to pay to see that shit (and the PPV numbers show it). And if the fans aren't going to pay to see Silva fight, who really gives a shit if he wins or loses? Do you want to pay to see a chess match? No, you want to pay to see a fight.
JPfighter- July 29, 2009 at 3:32 pm
@Decipleofmagus

"If anything we should be talking about how unimpressive GSP is, just laying on people until a decision, he has done this consistently for his past 3 fights, Anderson Silva does not have to please anyone, nor do any of the MMA fighters, the fans are secondary to the sport, the UFC is not an entertainment business as much as it is a competitive sport."

What a load of horseshit. First of all, GSP is far more engaging in the Octagon than Anderson. That's not even a comparison. GSP puts his ass on the line and takes risk, every single fight. Silva doesn't even know how to spell the word "risk". To him, it's all a game to see if he can avoid getting punched, while he throws jabs at his opponents thigh.

Anderson Silva does not have to please anyone? Really? Let me educate you on the UFC business model. The UFC needs revenue to survive. In order to have revenue, they need fans that want to pay to watch fights. And in order to have fans that want to pay to watch fights, you need to please the fans. Anderson Silva has the lowest PPV draw numbers of any UFC champion, and that is not by accident. People don't want to see this idiot pay games in the Octagon. It's a FIGHT, not a karate point scoring competition.

The fans are secondary to the sport? Ask Dana White where the UFC would be if they took this attitude. They would be fucking bankrupt. The fans are not secondary to the sport, the fans the BACKBONE of this sport. This is not bowling, this is a spectator sport that survives and thrives on generating large numbers of viewers who are willing to pay to see the events live. If the fans were secondary to the sport, do you think companies like Bud Light and Harley Davidson would be sponsoring the events? Hell no. What a ridiculous statement to say the fans are secondary to the sport.

The UFC is not an entertainment business? Really? Again, what a fucking stupid statement. So, you buy the UFC PPV's for something other than entertainment? What the fuck are you talking about? You watch NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA for something other than entertainment? ANY sport is an entertainment business, otherwise none of these fuckers would get paid a DIME.

Think about what the fuck you are saying.
saku- July 29, 2009 at 3:26 pm
There are some fighters who obviously earn their money by being a little crazy and play the crowd during fights but when you are as good as Silva is, you can earn your money without it.

JPfighter wrote:
"The point is, if I were fighting against someone that "didn't fight back", I'd finish the fight or I'd feel like shit."

Why would a professional throw away an advantage just because his opponent is passive? I think its perfectly fine if Silvas primary goal is to win. When his gameplan works out there is no reason to change it. What some guys here demand from Silva is just stupid. As long as the rules and the scoringsystem allow him to do what he does, nobody can complain. It's not like hes doing the Hack'a'Shaq, so i dont see any rulechanges coming. If you dont like it you should not buy it.

Its like asking Tiger Woods to do the last putt blindfolded because he is so far ahead. Just imagine the hits on youtube!! If he choose to do so id be glad but ultimately im watching golf and not WWE Wrestling, so all that i can expect is him trying to do his best and beat the competition. If im not entertained by that i watch the wrong sport.
doctorman- July 29, 2009 at 2:43 pm
im not sure if i like silva, machida, or g.s.p more better!
fack!
my moms callin
NewDawnFades- July 29, 2009 at 2:23 pm
@Mike Milbury: Rampage CHOSE TUF because it was OFFERED. Machida should have been the priority on-the-table offer for Rampage. Bad blood is great, but can anyone deny that the best fight on the table is Machida vs. Rampage.

Machida/Shogun is window dressing. AND IF Rashad beats Rampage, guess what that leads to...Machida/Evans 2? Do you seriously WANT that before a Machida/Rampage bout. But this is just what may happen because of all this dinkin' around.
nuclearblast- July 29, 2009 at 1:59 pm
LOL @ GSP being boring.

You should check the last 3-4 fights...He wasnt just lay and pray, it was the most brutal GNP ever seen. BJ penn tapped to strikes.... and who else beside John Fitch wouldve reach the decision in that spot ?? That was one of the worst beating ever seen.

GSP WILL go in anyones guard...BJJ master or not ( see BJ again )

Problem with A. Silva is not that he's boring or elusive. It's his attitude...acting like bruce Lee for no reason, dancing around, jabbing the leg !?!

Leithes was a fag but Cote was willing to engage and take a beating...why does Silva made fun of him during the fight ?? Not like Cote was running backward more than him.
Decipleofmagus- July 29, 2009 at 1:20 pm
"forgetting that the sole purpose of your job is to entertain fans" Since when? The purpose of MMA fighters is to test themselves and compete in the sport that they love and excel in, and when half of the fans don't know what they are talking about its hard to please everyone, i love Anderson Silva still, its not his fault his last 2 opponents were scared of him. If anything we should be talking about how unimpressive GSP is, just laying on people until a decision, he has done this consistently for his past 3 fights, Anderson Silva does not have to please anyone, nor do any of the MMA fighters, the fans are secondary to the sport, the UFC is not an entertainment business as much as it is a competitive sport.
JPfighter- July 29, 2009 at 12:55 pm
Hey cpreader1, Anderson Silva said they weren't fighting back, not me. Obviously these guys are all elite fighters that would destroy 99% of us, that is not the point. The point is, if I were fighting against someone that "didn't fight back", I'd finish the fight or I'd feel like shit. I think most people would feel the same way. As for showing you "how it's done", watch any number of other fighters that realize their job is to entertain. St. Pierre, Wanderlei, Machida, Henderson, Griffin, Rampage, Penn, Florian, etc, etc, etc. They don't go in there to play patty-cake and win on points... they engage, they take punishment, they take risk. THOSE guys have true fighter spirit. This bullshit about "the goal is to take no damage". If the fans wanted to see that shit, non-contact karate would be the largest sport in the world now. This isn't the second coming of the Karate Kid, this is the motherfucking UFC!
shitbag- July 29, 2009 at 12:51 pm
Hey, CP lay off the Spider!

I actually agree with everything he said, he does make sense.
slagsmol- July 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm
I'm not sure this really is so much of a change for Anderson Silva at all. That's not to say that he has always been conceited, or a jerk, or that he is necessarily trying to be one now.
From the beginning Anderson has been all about honor and respect. He spoke very respectfully about Rich Franklin and their two fights. About what a true champion he was, and what an honor to fight him, etc.
Anderson has clearly always felt the honoring and respecting those who have earned it is a very important thing. I think what we are seeing here is not a change in Anderson, but another side of that same mindset. e honored and respected Rich because he deserved it. He now feels he deserves the same.
Equally, he feels Lyoto Machita has earned more respect than to face a Shogun who so recently put on an appalling display of barely being bale to fight in his fight where he beat Coleman.
831 Son- July 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm
It was him not even caring about inferior opponents such as Cote and Leites. You guys just have some hate for him because he didnt get a KO in his last 2 fights. Obviously Forest is going to make him fight, but Silva is right about this. And Silva is going to beat the shit out of Forest next saturday. Haha haters, go die.
JPfighter- July 29, 2009 at 12:19 pm
@ cpreader1

"I think he's right in that many people (yourself included CP), don't really understand what's going on. Maybe you should try training a bit in the sport?"

I think it is Silva that doesn't understand what's going on. No PPV draw, no big paycheck. The issue is not winning, the issue is whether or not people want to see him fight! Some consider him to be the best P4P fighter in the world, yet his PPV numbers are dismal, and getting worse. Most fans want to see a FIGHT, not a victory. If you think MMA is all about victory, then you have a lot to learn.
JPfighter- July 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm
Anderson said:

"I went out there and executed a good game plan, it was just unfortunate that my opponents didn’t fight back.”

If I was fighting ANY opponent that "didn't fight back", I'd knock him the fuck out or submit him. And if I didn't, I'd be ashamed of myself. Apparently Silva has no shame, and is only interested in his paycheck.

Fuck you, Anderson Silva and Ed Soares.
cpreader1- July 29, 2009 at 12:05 pm
To people like JPfighter, please go show us how it's done. I always see you guys saying how a fighter should do this or that. Please, go demonstrate. Go show us how easy it is to knock out someone like Thales Leites or Patrick Cote.
cpreader1- July 29, 2009 at 12:02 pm
"forgetting that the sole purpose of your job is to entertain fans. "

The sole purpose for a fighter is to WIN fights. If Dana White and CO., had brought in some better 185 opposition from overseas, we wouldn't even be having this conversation about Anderson's last two fights.

By the way, I enjoyed Anderson's fight with Leites. I thought that fight was technically briliiant. I think he's right in that many people (yourself included CP), don't really understand what's going on. Maybe you should try training a bit in the sport?
C-Bus Allstar- July 29, 2009 at 11:49 am
Probably one of the worst Articles I've read on this site. Completely disagree. The Spider has a point about everything that he said. And CP in this instance sounds a lot like the UFC-nut-hugging fags that think that MMA is all about pleasing a dumb mob.

I find Anderson Silva to be pretty spot on with his discrepancies. I do NOT agree that Shogun has earned a shot. And I DO agree that fans only booed the fights that Anderson had because his OPPONENTS were too cowardly to fight back.

Anderson Silva making professional fighters look like idiots, would still be Anderson Silva making professional fighters look like idiots, WITHOUT the crowd.

Period.
JPfighter- July 29, 2009 at 11:35 am
Anderson Silva has become one of the largest douchebags in MMA today. I used to be a fan of Silva a few years ago, but now I take great pleasure in cheering for his opponents. I think the UFC needs to implement rules similar to Pride's rules for fighter inactivity, where inactivity results in your fight purse being penalized. The only way a douche like Anderson Silva will ever change his style, is if he is hit in the pocketbook (which realistically the UFC would never do this). This fucking guy couldn't give two shits about the fans. Please Forrest, kick this douchebag's ass, so we can listen to the equally douchey Ed Soares (Silva's Manager/Interpreter/Bumchum) tell us the reasons why Anderson lost. One thing is for certain, Forrest isn't going to back down one bit. Forrest will make it a fight, provided that Anderson is willing to engage. Win, lose, or draw, if this turns out to be a good fight, it will be because Forrest made it a good fight, not Silva.
Bare Grappler- July 29, 2009 at 11:05 am
It's unfortunate my opponets didn't fight back? Now that you have the belt you deserve the right to back peddle and have them sprinting into your punches? It may be enertaining to see but that's not reality. Someone needs to do the Nate Quarry to him.
Dante- July 29, 2009 at 11:00 am
He's right.
Killer Bee- July 29, 2009 at 10:54 am
Anderson Silva is a good fighter. I don't think anything can take that away from him. I believe he is still a nice guy. He's not flipping off the crowd or anything like that, he's just getting frustrated and that's understandable. I don't think it's appropriate to expect everyone to accept and be gracious in the reception of booing, especially after all the work you put into something. I do not necessarily agree with his deal with Shogun and the belt, but to be honest, nobody sees exactly eye to eye in anything...
MKO- July 29, 2009 at 10:32 am
I'm hoping for another decision that gives us the first ever non-bloody Forrest being punched in the shin for three rounds. When the crowd starts booing, Silva goes into the crowd kneeing peoples throats out. That said, come on, his last fight was bad ass. You will never see another fighter try, and succeed at, punching another dude in the leg.
saku- July 29, 2009 at 10:32 am
"Here's the pitfall for any professional athlete when they reach a great level of success — forgetting that the sole purpose of your job is to entertain fans."

I don't agree here. Ofcourse everybody loves to watch the great entertainers of each sport but since when is your primary goal as an athlete to entertain?

Maybe we should send Anderson Silva to Cirque de Soleil to train his entertainment skills. I think an athlete has to show great preformance in the sport and beat the competition.
Everybody whos truly into the sport will watch and enjoy it. There will always be those who think a dominant preformance looked boring. But everybody is free to choose a sport to watch right?
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