Eventually all men age and pass away. This is fact. In the case of Anderson Silva, it means he will lose at some point.
One day he will step in to the cage and look across at his opponent, a familiar place for him I’m sure, but this time his accuracy won’t be enough when he isn’t fast enough. His Muy Thai clinch won’t be effective, when he isn’t strong enough, and just like that his ability to win against the best in the world will become a part of the past.
In the way people talk about Michael Jordan, they’ll eventually realize now what they had taken for granted then. Anderson Silva can do things in the cage that people have never seen before and may never see again.
We all know his legacy, but will it be extended for a time more, at UFC 162 on July 6th in Vegas, when he walks in to the arena with Chris Weidman waiting for him inside the cage?
Weidman is undefeated (8-0), dangerously skilled, and hungry to return to fighting since being sidelined by injury over a year ago. Georges St Pierre believes Weidman can do it, like all loyal training partners of course.
But GSP also believes this is a golden opportunity for Silva to capitalize on any ring rust which may affect Weidman’s repertoire of skills in his first fight back. Remember, at the highest levels of competition in sports, it doesn’t take much to give one man an edge over the other.
What makes this fight intriguing more than other’s in the past, is Weidman’s skill set. He’s not a big name who’s past his prime, or an over glorified underdog without a chance in hell.
He’s a very dangerous number one contender in the middleweight division. This is not a dangerous fight for him. It’s a huge opportunity to shock the world and steal a piece of Silva’s legacy, as the first man to dethrone the greatest fighter of all time.
Of course living up to the accomplishment of dethroning Silva is probably impossible to be honest. With Silva winning every UFC fight against the best the sport can offer for over a decade, Weidman probably won’t be able to live up to the hype train he will have created for himself if he pulls off the upset.
If no one thinks Weidman stands a chance, watch his north to south elbow he caught Munoz with when they were on their feet. That is talent, something lacking from many of Silva’s opponents over the years.
Forrest Griffin, Chael Sonnen, and Stephan Bonnar were probably the least likely to beat Silva, yet everyone believes Silva’s weakness is firmly rooted in his lack of wrestling experience and apparent tentativeness at times.
So an optimal opponent for him will be a fighter with good wrestling and a brawler mentality. False. The ideal opponent for Silva will be someone who can hurt him early, and often. Simply out pointing him on the feet through implementing a varied game plan that involves transitions from the standing to the ground hasn’t worked up to this point.
If you want a spider to stop moving forward, pick a couple of it’s legs off and see how it maneuvers after that. It’s a rudimentary strategy and just one man’s musings and far more difficult to pull off I’m sure, but until Silva starts slowing down, he’s not getting beaten any other way.
Not that game plans matter against fighters like Anderson Silva in their prime. It will be interesting to see what Silva does against Weidman. He didn’t take long to drop his hands against Bonnar, of whom was probably the easiest test of his career. Yet he did everything he could (including cheating) when he fought Sonnen for the second time; a man who was easily his toughest challenge to date.