Yesterday, I watched Anderson Silva defeat fellow Brazilian Demian Maia to retain the UFC middleweight fighting title. Or rather, mercilessly taunt and humiliate his opponent for five rounds, drawing it out until the unanimous judges' decision in his favour. Since it was a first fight in a new market, UFC president Dana White was reportedly embarrassed at this brazen display of unsportsmanlike behaviour; Silva himself was unrepentant, claiming it was a reaction to the usurper Maia's trash talking prior to the match.

But this was no regular fight. Silva proved, right from the beginning, that he truly is in a class of his own. Maia, to his credit, had pitch-perfect technique; head down, fists up, looking for an opening, keep the feet moving. Being a jiu-jitsu takedown specialist, he's constantly looking for opportunities to clutch and grab, and put his opponent into submission. This is the only rational game plan for any fight, and the one that gave him a 12-1 record (with eight submissions).

Silva, conversely, was hunched over, head forward, daring his opponent to punch him in the face. And when Maia tried, Silva effortlessly darted around, faked a punch and instead kicked Maia in the face. Halfway through the second round, desperate for a challenge, Silva was literally walking around like a gorilla, chest out, arms back, pleading with his opponent to give him some sort of challenge to make the belt defense worthwhile. Unfortunately, Maia was not up to it, and Silva decided to coast through the remaining three rounds.

What made Silva such a threat is his utter, complete lack of consistency; he changes stances and techniques almost at will depending on the situation. And still, Silva left with a belt and slight arm contusion; Maia left with a severely swollen, bloodied face.


Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.