(Video courtesy of YouTube/MMAUltimateSet.com)
Re-watching Anderson Silva’s puzzling performance against Demian Maia at UFC 112 last night, I was reminded of the above outtake reel from the aspiring Brazilian Rich Little’s instructional video compilation he filmed with training partner Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.
In the clip, which at times seems eerily similar to the Paulo Filho-like, Bizarro World showing he had in Abu Dhabi, “The Spider” clowns on MMA luminaries like Royce Gracie, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, and even his own training partner, Lyoto Machida.
Throughout the fight on Saturday, Silva, who had only tested his popular act on training partners in the past took advantage of the larger stage to try out his newest material. Combining Gracie’s stiff-legged stand-up, Machida’s elusive karate stylings, Kalib Starnes’ infamous running man technique and some random air guitar interludes, instead of treating fans to one of his past impressive title defenses, he instead gave them something that more closely resembled a Jim Carrey stand-up performance.
Most baffling was Silva’s relentless beckoning of Maia to engage with him, which he spent more time doing than actually engaging himself. Though referee Dan Miragliotta had the right idea by warning the middleweight champ twice in the final frame that if he continued to break the timidity rule he would dock him a point, he should have done it two rounds earlier.
Maybe the UFC could take a page out of Jason Ellis’ book and throw a remote-controlled shock collar on Silva and use Pavlovian conditioning to try to cure him of the case of douchebaggery he seemed to have caught shortly after his win over Dan Henderson.