Last night the old guard held their own. Anderson Silva is still alone atop the mountain at Stephan Bonnar’s expense this time. Big Nog knocked off another hungry young heavyweight in Dave Herman, and Jon Fitch derailed Erick Silva’s hype train with a dominant win over the young Brazilian power house.
Talent in the MMA world has evolved so rapidly, many of the stars in the sport fail to evolve quick enough to remain in control of their respective weight classes for long. That was what was so impressive and even more to the point, memorable about last night’s fights at UFC 153 in Rio, Brazil.
Dana White put it best when he reminisced at the post fight press conference about Silva being close to his own age yet capable of bobbing and moving away from punches after such a long career without missing a stride as he keeps beating top level competition.
He also talked about a moment in the weigh ins when Big Nog used Dana’s shoulder to balance himself as he took his clothes off before stepping on the scale. That was also a moment which betrayed the age of some of the most notable figures on last night’s fight card.
Out of the three veterans on the card, I would have to say Anderson Silva’s position is the most interesting. He’s not interested in cleaning out his weight class and now looks to the possibility of a super fight between himself and Georges St Pierre, of whom will be defending his belt on November 17 against Carlos Condit.
Silva has expressed these sentiments in the past and even though GSP has a tough challenge ahead of him, the media has asked if he would accept the fight against Silva at a catch weight. Unforunately GSP has aggravated everyone with his vague responses.
To my ears, GSP seems completely uninterested in a fight with Silva. I understand he has a tough challenge in front of him and doesn’t want to make a mistake by overlooking Condit. What I don’t understand is his constant talk about not being able to fight at a higher weight because it would somehow unbalance his ability to fight adequately at 100%.
I understand his sentiment that he would be better off gaining weight over a year and cutting down properly to ensure he was the optimal build for a move to middleweight. Yet maybe that’s a very thoughtful way of saying, I don’t want to fight Silva or anyone in his weight class. Either way I’m hoping it goes down soon.
Interestingly enough, Dana commented to the press after the fights while Silva emphatically shook his head, that he would love to see Silva fight GSP and would make it happen if he could.
Silva isn’t the only from last night’s fights paying attention to GSP’s title defense next month. Jon Fitch has been struggling to get out from under GSP’s shadow since his loss to the champ a while ago. If Condit wins, Fitch may be closer to a shot at the belt than if GSP remains champ since it will be difficult for fans to believe in Fitch’s chances in that one.
Out of the old men last night, I think it’s time for Big Nog to hang em up for good. He can’t beat the top guys in his division anymore and until last night, his fights have been taking a toll on his body. Does anyone think he could tangle with the likes of Overeem, Velasquez, or Dos Santos?
At some point he needs to consider injuries he’s sustained and what kind of sacrifice in quality of life he may have to accept in the future, not to mention if he continues to fight and accrue damage. With pins in his shoulder from his last bout, why not end a successful career on a high note after a memorable home town performance?
The old men may have some tricks left up their sleeves at this point and I’m glad to see it. No sense in giving over the sport they crafted in to what we all know and love today without fight.
Watch the UFC 153 highlights in the video below.
VIDEO COURTESY OF THE UFC..
By Gabe Keith ~ Senior Writer
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