(We promise, this photo is only misleading if you haven’t seen the fight yet. Or if you happen to be Anderson Silva. via Getty.)
It’s crazy to think that a showdown between two of the UFC’s longest-standing and most well known middleweights went almost completely uncovered in the wake of UFC 196′s main event switcheroo, but that’s exactly what happened with Fight Night 84. The power of Mystic Mac truly knows no bounds.
Fortunately for those of us who turned in, Anderson Silva vs. Michael Bisping turned out to be one of the more bizarre main eventers in promotional history — right up there with “Silva vs. Diaz” or “Silva vs. Leites” or… well, you get the point. It was a fight that showed both Bisping’s unexpected, late-career resurgence, a former champion’s steady decline, and depending on who you ask, the continued incompetence of MMA judges and the scoring system in general, so head below for all the details and highlights.
(This isn’t the shirt in question, but still, just look at this goddamn thing. Larry the Cable Guy wouldn’t be caught dead in this mess.)
At this point in the Reebok-UFC partnership, you’d be hard-pressed to convince us that the former *isn’t* trying to intentionally tank the deal through sheer incompetence, ala Springtime for Hitler. You could probably go so far as to say that the company never really wanted to partner with the UFC in the first place, but were simply called a dummy by Dana White so often and so vociferously that they were eventually forced to cave in.
But if Reebok’s incompetence hadn’t already reached new heights following the much-scorned release/immediate recall of its “Ireland” shirt, they’ve surely done so now with the work of art that awaits you after the jump.
When Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort first met in the octagon, the former was an unstoppable, arrogant-bordering-on-cocky champion and the latter was a battle-tested veteran who would supposedly serve as his toughest test to date. They shared many similarities beyond their penchant for knocking people out (they’re both Brazilian!), but when push came to shove, Silva emerged as the clearly superior fighter.
Four years later, Silva has lost his title, broken his leg in the cage, and been popped for PED’s which may or may not have been caused by Thai black market sex pills, while Belfort himself has also lost a title bid and done pretty much everything within his power to deflect criticism from his PED-riddled past. Again, the similarities are striking here, which is perhaps why the two former champions have once again been booked to throw down.
The point is, the G.O.A.T’s long-awaited NSAC hearing regarding his positive tests for Drostanolone (among other substances) both before and after UFC 183 took place yesterday, and the only way to describe it would be “the UFC 162 of NSAC hearings.” Silva showed up, clowned around, and took a huge blow to his reputation (not to mention his wallet) by the time all was said and done.
All the details and highlights from this circus are after the jump.
(Oh, this? Just the face of a man who knows he’s about to be chewed out by the Wheaties people. via Getty.)
By Scott Johnson
UFC 185 was a very interesting anomaly in the world of MMA, in which two incumbent champions were dethroned by the challengers who were considered underdogs going into the fight. Carla Esparza was only considered a slight favorite heading into her fight with Joanna Jedrzejczyk so the surprise there was minimal, but there weren’t many people expecting to see Rafael Dos Anjos topple Pretty Tony Pettis. Hell, most of us were already looking forward to Pettis vs. Nurmagomedov, but the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, and now the UFC Lightweight division has a new champion in its mix.
In the spirit of these events, I’ve compiled what I consider to be the top five upsets in UFC championship history. I have no doubts that there will be a difference in opinion as to which fights belong here or which order they should be in, but in the words of the great Oskar Schindler, “Fuck you, it’s my list and I’ll put who I want on it.”
When I was a kid, my favorite video game was Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out. What I loved most about the game was progressing through the rogue’s gallery of fighters and finally becoming champion, because it was only after you became champion that you got to greatest aspect of Punch-Out: The “Dream Fight” with Iron Mike himself. It was the original superfight before the term superfight ever existed.
The recent announcement of the boxing “Super/Dream Fight” between Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather finally happening (albeit 5 years too late) has once again gotten us MMA fans talking about what our equivalent could be, and on top of that, what actually makes a fight a “Super Fight” and not just a big fight, championship fight or other random main event.
As a bonafide Anderson Silva nuthugger (try not to picture that), I’ve been asking myself the same question for the past few weeks — “Why, Anderson, Why?” You were arguably the greatest mixed martial artist of our generation, maybe of all time. If Impossible was Nothing, nothing inside the cage was impossible. You, Anderson “The Spider” Silva, lived in some sort of netherworld between our world and The Matrix, where you made former champions look like amateurs and knocked out heavier men with a jab while backpedaling. Even on your worst night, you triangle-chocked victory from the loud-mouthed jaws of defeat. You were MMA’s first superhero, it’s first Superman.
If you didn’t happen to catch last night’s NSAC hearing because you don’t even work part-time for an MMA blog and have a life, then boy did you miss out (not really). Set to a soothing soundtrack of nearby construction work, the 3-hour meeting was as much of a non-factor as it possibly could have been. At one point, Pat Lundvall’s phone went off and it was the Benny Hill theme song. Seriously. It happened. Check out the “blooper reel” (a blooper reel!) above for another highlight.
And the NSAC themselves, my God (*kisses fingers*). In a meeting that was supposed to determine the fighting futures of Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz, the chairmen and women of the most frustratingly incompetent organization outside of a Comcast call center spent over an hour discussing the idea of placing a computer chip in MMA gloves in order to more accurately score fights. They spent another hour arguing about whether or not judges should be scoring fights with iPads, because penciling in a number between 8 and 10 is just getting too damn confusing. Did I mention the cosmic irony of the Benny Hill theme song?
But in the few moments when NSAC wasn’t struggling to take a piss without dribbling on their shoes, they did actually manage to reveal some information regarding Anderson Silva’s post-fight drug test. No spoilers, but it will breaka you heart.
Mixed martial arts has always felt like a kind of fighting utopia. A permanent dream state for lovers of fight sports that occasionally seems almost too good to be true. In a sanitised world, it is the closest and most acceptable iteration of the “no holds barred” concept of combat all fight purists have wet dreams about. Two elite combatants. One locked cage. Very few rules. The best fighter wins, right?
Oh wait, no. We’re back in the land of fantasy again. In fact, with the cold hindsight of UFC 183 and many other recent revelations that are presently clouding the MMA horizon, we’re no longer dreaming or fantasising. We’re standing in a stark reality. And the reality is that MMA – or more specifically, MMA’s standard-bearer and aggressively-insistent market leader, the UFC – is beginning to resemble a bit of a circus.