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Fact Check: Did Demian Maia Disrespect Anderson Silva?

The unsatisfying post-fight explanation has become something of a tradition for UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva. After putting on performances that are either bizarre, boring, or both, he inevitably ends up at the press conference after the event, trying to explain through his manager/translator, Ed Soares, why he just forced us to sit through another fight that featured only occasional bursts of offense among extended periods of posturing and playing.

After a decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 112 that saw Silva essentially stop fighting altogether in the final two rounds, the story went that he was trying to punish Maia for his “disrespect.” In the lunchtime video interview above, Soares repeats that claim, insisting that Maia “talked a lot of crap before the fight, and said a lot of things personally about Anderson.” Because of such an unprecedented show of disrespect – who ever heard of talking trash about an opponent before a fight, after all? – Silva got emotional and “wanted to make him pay.”

Here’s where we could ask why making Maia pay didn’t include any sustained attempts to knock him out at any point during the fight. We could also ask how spending the final two rounds running in circles was supposed to make Maia suffer. But we won’t. Instead we’ll ask, how exactly did Maia disrespect Silva before the fight?

Here’s one pre-fight interview where Maia describes the champ as “the best fighter in the world” as well as “the most complete fighter in the world.” Even when Maia says that Silva can be defeated, his reasoning seems predicated solely on the fact that, at least as far as we know, Silva is a human being. Unless Silva can produce some DNA tests that will refute that claim, he can’t really get too pissed off about that statement.

Additionally, in a story on Maia said of Silva:

“What can I say, he’s the best fighter in the world, pound for pound. He’s good in everything that he does, and so far it’s the biggest challenge of my life.”

Oh, the insolence of this guy.

What seems to have irked Silva more, however, was Maia’s pre-fight remark about trying to take one of “The Spider’s” eight limbs home with him. This obviously wasn’t intended as a literal prediction by Maia, who presumably knows that Silva isn’t an actual spider any more than Keith Jardine is an actual dean at the prestigious Mean University, but rather it was a bit of word play expressly for the purposes of the pre-fight hype reel.

What’s more, as pre-fight trash talk goes it’s incredibly tame. When Dan Henderson said that Silva was not the best fighter in the world prior to their match-up at UFC 82, Silva didn’t respond by trying to humiliate him over the course of five rounds. Instead he put him away in two. When James Irvin cast doubts on Silva’s punching power, he was repaid with a quick knockout finish. So what unforgivable trash talk sin did Maia commit that could possibly justify the taunting and the mockery that we saw on Saturday?

We can probably find our answer in the inconsistency of Silva’s post-fight remarks. First, in the Octagon with Joe Rogan, he said he didn’t know what came over him. Just a few minutes later in the post-fight presser, he had figured out that what came over him was rage at Maia’s “disrespect.” Funny how quickly he put that together.

The more we see this kind of behavior from Silva, the more we have to consider that something in his mind just isn’t working right. If he can really see disrespect in Maia’s lukewarm trash talk, and if he really thinks what he did in Abu Dhabi was a suitable response, then this is not a man with his feet planted firmly on the ground. Maybe the culprit isn’t all the trash talk, but rather the praise. Maybe you can only hear about how great you are for so long before it starts to go to your head. Maybe that’s when you become an intolerable jerk who is completely disconnected from reality.

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wth- April 13, 2010 at 3:53 am
It's funny that rockbacklash above loved Silva's diva tactics and dramatic posturing, but yet he wrote:

"Anyone who is complaining about paying for the PPV, or the level of action; do us all a favor and switch over to WWE:"

No thanks. Silva is bringing the WWE over to the UFC. Why pay for the WWE when Silva is a one-man show of dramatic in-ring speeches and posturing. The one thing they forgot though, was when Miragliotta pulled Silva aside to warn him for stalling, his manager (Soares) was supposed to pull a collapsible chair out from under the octagon and bash Maia over the back of the head with it while Silva kept the ref distracted. Idiots!
rags81- April 12, 2010 at 11:14 pm

I accept your challenge and will break it down by weight class.

Welterweight (170):

Silva said he is open to this and would like a tune-up fight to ensure he can make weight, then GSP.

Tune-Up: Josh Koscheck
Well rounded enough to make it interesting. Koscheck has very solid striking which Silva's last 3 title matches lacked. He's got speed, unlike Griffin. Top notch wrestling, and enough BJJ skills to make this an overall interesting and promotable fight. Koschecks motivation is that he is unlikely to get a title shot without this for a long time since he won't face Swick or Fitch since they're butt buddies.

GSP: #2 P4P fighter. Nuff Said (Dana's scared to have his poster boy loose a fight though)

*Nick Diaz or Thiago Alves could also serve as the tune-up. Either has legitimate chances, Nicks motivation is he's a dick and will never turn it down. This is Thiago's fastest route to another title shot with a win after his shutdown by GSP last year.

Middleweight (185):

Title Defense: Chael Sonnen
Because he has to. Put this on a Fight Night or Co-Main Event because we're going to see some jazz hands here since Chael sucks harder than an 18yo fat chick trying to make it into a sorority. His gain: The title.

Title Defense: Vitor Belfort
Very erratic, but a bad mofo with great hand speed and BJJ when his game is on.
His gain: The title.
Light Heavyweight: (205)

Jon Jones: Probably the toughest challenge for Silva. Has great speed, creative striking, takedowns, and GnP. This should be his 3rd fight in the series your asking for to give him more time to develop. Jones motivation is a win over Silva puts him in instant title contention, solidifies his reputation for awesomeness. I still give the edge to Silva based on experience.

Randy Couture: Can never be counted out, he's still kicking father times ass every day. He's stated he's only looking for interesting match ups that challenge his skills and experience, and Silva is the ultimate challenge. He has decent enough boxing to get insdie and clinch and dirty box. Silva's knees from the clinch will be neautralized by the superior Greco Roman clinch game against the cage that Couture brings. If Couture pulled off the win it would be by wearing Silva down in the clinch and finishing with GnP or a submission.

Winner of Rashad/Rampage gets a title shot so they're both ruled out for this 3 fight series.

Which only leaves us with Mousausi or Thiago Silva. Their motivation is a quick jump to title contention. (Provided Mousausi signs with the UFC.

Heavyweight: (265)

Anyone well rounded or a good striker since Silva has never been tested here.

Lesser choices: CroCop, Pat Barry, or Gilbert Yvel, or Cheick Congo. (All one dimensional strikers, good stepping stones and promotable for a first heavyweight fight)
Mid level choices: Gonzaga or Frank Mir
Top Choices: Dos Santos, Velasquez, Carwin, Lesnar, or Fedor. (Fedor being the top choice since they are closest in weight)

Any heavyweights motivation is simply a win over the P4P champ. Gets a little murkier if the top choices would accept, aside from the champ.
mikeraphon- April 12, 2010 at 9:29 pm
rockbacklash, save the "Americans can't understand Silva's awesomeness" crap...

When it comes to our sports, we are among the greatest, most well researched, well versed fans on the planet. We are not the uneducated neanderthals that you'd like to make us out to be.

As for your own understanding of the fight game, what do you expect the greatest BJJ fighter in UFC to say when asked his game plan? "I'm going to beat him with gogoplatas and D'arce chokes..." I mean c'mon already. GSP almost beat Hardy with a Kimura...were you scoffing at his "beginner moves".

Keeping Maia at a distance and stuffing takedown attempts definitely stopped Maia's gameplan of taking it to the ground and submitting Silva. Showboating and beating his chest certainly did NOT keep it out of the judges hands. A decision victory is precisely IN the judges hands dumbass.

Somehow in the same breath, you say that Silva disgraced Maia by completely obliterating his game plan, but that he had no desire to finish him. I would contend that this once again does not support the claim that Silva is the best P4P fighter on the planet, but rather the biggest P4P bully on the planet, and no reasonable person cheers for the bully.

So, now that you've levied the blame for this shameful display on Dana White's match making ability, I challenge you with the same task I gave are the UFC match maker...tell me who Silva should have fought in Belfort's place, and give me Silva's next 3 fights.
mikeraphon- April 12, 2010 at 9:09 pm

enough of this "he only wants to fight the best fighters available..." crap. He is the champ of the 185 division. At some point he has to defend his title. Name a fighter in the 185 division who merits a championship bout.

Otherwise, he's shown a desire at 205. Name a fighter at 205 that merits a fight with Silva. The top tier 205 fighters don't want to fight him because a loss to Silva means distancing themselves from their own title shot. You have nothing to gain from fighting Silva at 205 if you're a top tier fighter. So who does that leave? Machida obviously. But to suggest Silva fight Machida is off the table as well.

He's the best fighter on the planet. There's no one at any weight class who meets the criteria (top tier talent with something to gain from fighting him). Thus the UFC match makers have to find the guy who's earned a title fight and hasn't recently fought so he can be focused enough to compete.

So let's put it on you're the UFC match maker. You are ready to give in to Silva's demands of fighting the best possible talent. Name his next three fights at any weight class. Remember, he is the 185 champ so at some point he owes it to his own weight class to defend the title. He can't just win the title and ride off into the superfight sunset...
rags81- April 12, 2010 at 8:28 pm

Dana White is not Anderson Silva's boss, he is a promoter. Anderson Silva is an independent contractor that is responsible for his own affairs. The UFC does not provide a salary, healthcare, or retirement benefits to its fighters. This fight was put on by Dana because he needed a headliner for the fight since they were in a new market, title fights are more promotable, and Silva is frequently used in overseas fights since he does not speak english well making him less of a draw in the US. All of this conflicts with Silvas interests. He wants to fight the the toughest oppontents available and has publicly stated his contempt for fighting less skilled opponents, and shown his contempt in the cage. He wants to fight in the US since that is where the money is at, and as a headliner he recieves a portion of ticket and PPV sales. Once it was clear that no viable middleweight contender was available due to injury or a recent defeat, Dana should have postponed the fight or booked a non-title fight in a different weight class against a quality opponent.

NOBODY wanted to see this Maia fight for any other reason than the quick highlight reel knockout it should have provided. Unfortunately, what we saw instead was Silva making a very clear and loud statement to Dana that he will jackass around with jazz hands and monkey business unless he is fighting the best. By robbing Dana and the fans of the knockout we all know he could have delivered, Dana cannot continue to ignore Silva's demands as the P4P best fighter and booking these lesser opponents unless he's going for the value proposition of providing us with great fights mixed with a vaudeville show such as the UFC 112 main event.

As for Silvas legacy, every damned one of us will forgive him in 3 months when he knocks out (insert name of unlucky bastard here) in devastating fashion.
robthom- April 12, 2010 at 5:33 pm
"...or he simply doesn't want to finish fellow Brazilians. But then my thought falls apart when I toss Patrick Cote into the mix..."

I also noticed that he doesn't seem to fight muricans the same way he fights non muricans.
He makes sure to kick the shit out of murican fighters.

That and just some of the attitude he puts out makes me suspect that he just doesn't like muricans and/or whites. And that may also add to his disrespect towards the UFC as a murican company on the whole.

Maybe he's got some kind of racist issues like ccman is talking about.
ccman- April 12, 2010 at 4:33 pm
Disclaimer: I am not defending Silvas behavior. I did not condone it and was pissed by the 4th round just like everyone. that said.....

A. beatingu is kinda correct, maia was a sales job, not a real opponent. fight shoulda never been made.

B. Maia did flop aka leittes for 3 rounds. by 4 i would be clowning too. maybe not the first, but by 4, yep. he did not come to 'fight' he came to look for the fight to land in his advantage, not get it there.

c. WHAT MOST OF YOU MISS, IN BRAZIL (LATIN ANYWHERE WORLD) THERE IS A HUGE CLASS GAP, AND RACISM THAT far EXCEEDS ANYTHING YOU CAN POSSIBLY IMAGINE IN AMERICA. As a black brazillian and Maia as a brown brazillian, there is automatic anomosity. (ignore machida, he is half asian). and i do not know the social standing of either fighters families, but if the class plus racial divide pre-existed, then anything said would be taken as an insult to the 10th degree from the start. also remember that some of what is said is very lost in cultural translation 9think playboy comment).

D. anyone else notice how this has overshadowed the worst decision ever. No way edgar won that fight and I can not find a single blogger or expert who live blogged and scored an Edgar win. not a one. worst case was 3-2 penn win most gave it 4-1 penn win. the 50-45 score was insulting to my MMA knowledge.
RwilsonR- April 12, 2010 at 4:30 pm
@ rags81

I really hate this "he was bored" or "it's Dana's fault for not challenging him" argument that is starting to become popular. Lots of us are told to do things we don't like, or that we think are beneath us by our bosses. We don't dance around the office with jazz hands and jump around like a monkey to prove to our boss he is wasting our time. We just sack up, act professional, and possibly even have a man to man conversation with him about our wasted talents.

So if this is his excuse, all it does is leave us to conclude that Anderson Silva is an unprofessional jackass. Which is pretty much the only conclusion you can come to regardless of what reasoning you think Silva had in doing what he did.
RwilsonR- April 12, 2010 at 4:22 pm
@ mikeraphon

You are forgetting Thales Leites. A small point, but it had occurred to me that Silva feels disrespected by Brazilians who are willing to challenge him, or he simply doesn't want to finish fellow Brazilians. But then my thought falls apart when I toss Patrick Cote into the mix...
fernandobluebelt- April 12, 2010 at 3:12 pm
I like Rags81 comment. It makes a lot of sense. Anderson is still a douche for doing it though.

Durden- April 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm
Somebody better nail Chael Sonnen's mouth shut then.. Else we'll get to see a fuckin 25minute linedance
rags81- April 12, 2010 at 2:44 pm
This shit is Dana's fault. Anderson has fought tomato can opponents in his last 3 title defenses. While all elite fighters, they were not worthy contenders. By knocking them out, he just condones the matchmaking that the UFC is putting up there. By acting an ass, he's sending a clear message to Dana that he wants to knock out nothing but the best opponents that can be offered. If they throw him tomato cans, he's just gonna act like a cat toying with a mouse, only he lets them go at the end instead of eating them.

Dana's whole premise for the Maia fight was that Silva needed to defend the belt after the long lay off. Without a clear contender available to fight after Belforts injury they scraped the only viable option from a promotional standpoint out of the barrel. This is not what Silva or the fans wanted. Sure, Silva could've knocked him out at any given point, but that would've only let Dana think its acceptable. What should've happened is to switch to a non-title fight at another weight class with a worthwhile opponent.

Dana cannot keep claiming Silva is the best P4P fighter if he's not fighting the best opponents, (i.e. Fedor). He presently has no challenge at 185, and yes that includes Chael Sonnen. He should be fighting no less thatn GSP, Rashad, Rampage, Shogun, Mir, Carwin, Dos Santos, Lesnar, Velasquez, Jon Jones, or Fedor.
bitteralex- April 12, 2010 at 2:38 pm
I can understand where silva is coming from...
I felt it was total disrespect when my girlfriend said inch for inch I was the best lover in the world.
richorama- April 12, 2010 at 2:31 pm
Im gonna get one of my Portuguese buddies to translate what Silva says during pressers. Ed Soares seems to leave out the good stuff. Also, fuck Anderson Silva.
kempo666- April 12, 2010 at 2:26 pm
Apparently what Maia said was something to the effect of: "Silva sucks at showboating... "
robthom- April 12, 2010 at 2:25 pm
Good one rjstevens.

robthom- April 12, 2010 at 2:18 pm
silva is always talking that "he disrespected me" cockshit.

And then watching him be the most disrespectful dude in the ring time and again, and for longer than these last three infractions, just makes it so obvious to me that trying to figure or worry about the shit coming out of his hole has about as much upside as worrying about why barnett or tito say the things they do.

Absolutely none.

As far as what to do with him, fucking give him what he's been asking for. Tell him if he surrenders the 185 he can go up in weight.

Its a win/win.
(well out of the options available at least)

He'll be forced to put up a fight against the bigger guys, he'll probably get his ass kicked eventually and it unclogs the 185 race.

He has nothing left to prove at 185.
He's stated and displayed as much over and over again. As long as UFC insists that he plays a role that he isn't interested in anymore than they'll have to carry half the blame for the results IMO.

Edit: Oh yeah, two more wins is with silva up into 205+ where he belongs, it would clear the way for GSP and penn to head up also without GSP having to fight a silva weighing 50 pounds more than him at the first bell.
cecils_pupils- April 12, 2010 at 2:15 pm
^^^damn Get Off Me... you know your douchebag data my friend. It is I who concede - Tito is still a bigger douche, I guess I am just really... really... really pissed at Anderson. But I digress...

Like we said in our previous posts after the fight - I felt personally embarrassed by him cuz I was entertaining some new fans. I am just still stewing, I guess.
Get Off Me- April 12, 2010 at 2:03 pm
@Cecil Pupils
100% agreed that Silva>Brock +Fucko+Baby Deca talent wise.
Silva never struck me as a respectful fighter in the first place, the camp he used to train with were notorious for being disrespectful and I believe he has carried that with him during his career. One thing that stands out is that I saw him bow in the center of the ring at the begining of the match for the first time like that at 112, I personally heard him say(when he was booed in Montreal)that fans booed because they did not know what they were watching..... Montreal has been an MMA hot bed in Canada for over a decade, we know what were watching thanks.

I have lost respect for Silva before this most recent episode, but I will never put him on my hate list over Tito for simple reasons such as:
1.Tito thinks he's better than Anderson Silva
2.Tito compares himself to GSP and calles GSP the young Tito
3.Before the fight he claims health, after the fight you would think he had one foot in the grave or that he's a walking miracle.
4.Tito would never apologize for a boring win.

I will concede that Silva is more unlikeable than ever, does not seem interested in entertaining fans during a fight and should know better than what he showed on Saturday. But I do not put him over Tito's shenanigans ever, there have been too many for someone to exceed his level of dislikeability.

As I said before my friend, I think he's laughing all the way to the bank(kinda like the movie Snatch) The only logic I can find with Silva is that he's betting on the outcome of his fights......He wins, we lose.

rjstevens- April 12, 2010 at 1:26 pm
rjstevens- April 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm
My honest opinion is Anderson Silva should be stripped of the title and forced to fight as the opening fight on free events like the fight nights and work his way back up through convincing victories in order to get another title shot. One more chance to once again be the champion or forever be remembered as a cautionary tale like Mark Kerr who could have had it all but were just too lazy and unfocused to achieve greatness.

In my opinion greatness is achieved not just through complete dominance but also by earning the love and adoration of your fans. You've heard it before in the military, "Earning the Hearts and Minds of the people." Winning a battle is less than half the war. Eeking out a victory.... well I can only give my opinion on that, and that is that if someone is supposedly the best pound for pound fighter in the world he should be able to take the fight at any time he wants and FINISH it. If that's the way he considers to be championship form maybe he should play American football where if you’re ahead by enough points you can just run out the clock and not really finish your opponent.

Fighting is a finish or die trying sport. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s not for the weak of will. It’s not for those with casual interest. It is the embodiment of skills passed down over thousands of years that were intended to fight off enemies and win wars and has been softened down to a competitive sport but still lives strong in the hearts of those who truly practice mixed martial arts for the deep and powerful history it has forged. Lives and cultures have been lost based on the skill of one people’s warriors versus another. That acknowledgment is what a true champion should have. Each fight even in sport is for the spirit of those who came before you and gave so that you may compete FOR MONEY today. Perhaps that is his real problem that he is being paid too much for what he does. Maybe being paid based on his performance would motivate him to try harder however I doubt it. To me he is either afraid of a weakness in his ground game and that is why every single ground fight since Henderson he has done his dance routine or he just doesn’t have the heart a fighter needs for the sport anymore. He fought with Forest who was a stand up fighter and knocking him out... all be it while running back wards as well... but at least he fought. I’d gladly tell Anderson to his face that I think he is either afraid or doesn’t have the heart because the worst he could do is punch me and prove me wrong but honestly I think he would just try to look scary and make excused about legal issues for why he didn’t do anything where as a real champ like Chuck Liddell I believe would punch me in the face and pay off the lawsuit because his honor is it worth it to him.

This is all just my opinion and I’d be glad to be wrong, as in $55 a pay per view wrong because like many of you I have spent over $200 to watch the same thing from Anderson and I’m sad to say I’m going to be forgoing any future pay per views with Anderson on the card because I’ll just watch the mediocre fight on Spike when they air it 3 months later for free. I’m also sad to say I have found myself loosing interest in UFC all together lately and enjoying some alternative venues but for the most part maybe loosing a little of the love I once had for the sport. I feel disappointed after each PPV as they seem so anticlimactic compared to the golden years of Chucks title run or back when Bas was choppin chumps in half with leg kicks or Randy was pounding out Vitor. Our pound for pound greatest fighters in the UFC are loosing close decisions like BJ, or winning by decisions like GSP and Anderson Silva. Even our light heavyweight champ wins a controversial decision. Outside of the heavyweight division the champs seem more like kids protecting their candy stash than warriors entering the octagon and the undercard fights are a lot more enjoyable with guys that have the hunger to climb to the top just to watch “The Champ” Dance around like he’s going to piss himself he has to go to the bathroom so bad.

So I guess that’s it and just my opinion cuz there are a million of them out there. I hope that some kind of restructuring happens because I would hate to see the momentum stall out when the sport is achieving so much on so many other levels.
2phresh- April 12, 2010 at 1:24 pm
I guess his one and only weakness is not being wrapped to tight in his head
andoy162- April 12, 2010 at 1:19 pm
it seems like silva's overconfidence finally caught up with his ego.
chael sonen will whoop his arse like what hendo did.
vengful1- April 12, 2010 at 1:16 pm
I used to think that if there were one fighter I would spit on (if they were securely chained to a tree and I had a preplanned escape route and my super fast Nike's on) it would be Brock. But we never have to worry about Brock dancing for 5 rounds because he's mad at his opponent. If anything, we have to worry about him beating someone to death. Silva has officially become bad for business and I want to spit in his face (again, the tree and the Nike's) and never see him fight again.
ShitFacedCockMaster- April 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm
fuck silva... i hope they strip him of the belt