5 Takeaways from UFC London: Anderson ‘The Spider’ Silva At the End of His Web

February 28, 2016
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I have been a fight fan since I was a kid, watching boxing with my dad. We used to watch greats like the late Matthew Saad Muhammad fight for free on ABC’s Wide World of Sports.

Things have changed.

Now we have backyard fighters getting paid lots of money to fight for real on national television. Fighters who make tons of money for a company are allowed to hurl racist slurs at Hispanic fighters. And the one-time greatest mixed martial artists of all time fighting on a subscription-only channel, for no other purpose than to drive up subscriptions.

But that’s just business. I get it. I thought I had seen it all in combat sports, until UFC Fight Night 84. I learned an important lesson. The fight is never over. Not even if one guy knocks the heck out of the other with an amazing flying knee, then celebrates, and hops on top of the cage. No the fight is not over. In Brazil it’s probably over. In London, it’s just about to get good.

Like Anderson Silva’s knee, let’s fly into the fallout of UFC Fight Night 84.

5. Gegard MEHsasi Underwhelms

I love Gegard Mousasi. He’s one of the most talented fighters in MMA, skilled defensively, an incredible striker and one of the smartest fighters on the planet. Sometimes, though, it just seems he doesn’t like fighting. Mousasi looks like he goes about 75 percent in most of his fights. He’s so good that’s usually enough for him to win. But when he drops below that output level, he finds himself getting knocked, submitted or outwrestled by inferior fighters. Mousasi fights too defensively, and that may be to avoid a spinning heel kick knockout, but as he nears the latter part of his career, he will need to take some major changes in the cage to become champion.

4. Where’s King Mo?

Watching Mousasi fight made me think of Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal and wonder why he is not in the UFC. We know the official story. He was contracted with Zuffa after the acquisition of Strikeforce, but then failed a drug test and started insulting athletic commission officials after he felt disrespected. Maybe Mo doesn’t want to fight in the UFC because he can make more money in Bellator. But I do know this: It’s not a talent thing. In an era where Conor McGregor is allowed to jump two weight classes just because he can draw on PPV, CM Punk and Mickey Gall can get a high-profile spot on a UFC card, and Jon Jones can get an immediate title shot after a hit-and-run accident on a pregnant woman, there has to be room for King Mo in the UFC.

3. The Knee From Hell

Anderson Silva did not look like Anderson Silva on Saturday, except for one brief moment where he destroyed Michael Bisping with a knee. Like Zack Morris, however, Bisping was saved by the bell. Two things: What an adrenaline dump for Silva to believe he won, then find out he has to fight again. It’s amazing he was able to continue. Bisping is amazing to have recovered from that and go on to fight as well as he did. That’s just ultimate bad luck for Silva and bit of luck for Bisping. After getting knocked out while clowning, a broken leg in a fight, a failed drug test, and now a Dusty Finish, are the Gods of MMA trying to tell Silva something?

2. Luke Rockhold is Looking Good (I don’t mean it like that)

Michael Bisping is a man. He’s a fighter. He’s a tough son of a gun. But he can’t beat Luke Rockhold (unless it’s in a gym with no cameras in San Jose). Bisping fought a great fight, but let’s face it; he was nearly knocked out by Silva. If Bisping were an NFL quarterback he would have been Dan Fouts (look it up, millennials). He’s tough as nails, but at this stage of his career he’s going to have a hard time beating someone who is under 40 years old, and certainly not Rockhold, by whom he’s already been submitted. Rockhold may have Junior dos Santos’d Chris Weidman with the beating he gave him. The best fight for Rockhold is against Jon Jones, in a fight that Rockhold would be viable in, because, as we all know, Luke trains with Cain.

1. Anderson Silva is done

He should retire while he can and is still somewhat be remembered as something close to the greatest of all time. With the exception of the knee, Silva was not himself. He got beat by a slower and less skilled guy than him. What is in Silva’s future? He could do some special attraction fights, but for what? He should retire, preserve his legacy and become a UFC ambassador. He’s represented the sport well, defeated the best in their prime. No one wants to see a performance like that again from a guy once regarded as the best of all time.

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  • Jason Moore

    I thought he did good for a guy who’s only fought once in 25 months. After 2 rounds of him kinda shaking the ring rust, he looked as if he was getting more comfortable and his chin got stronger as the fight went on. He arguably won the last 3 rounds if you ask Dana White. Can you imagine what may have happened if he hadn’t had that adrenaline dump? If Herb Dean would’ve stopped that fight which noone would’ve contested, you would be having a different article. Let the guy get comfortable in the octagon and get this warmup fight behind him before you write him off.

    • Jason Johnson

      I take what Dana White says with a grain of salt. Despite how good he is, Luke Rockhold does not capture the fans attention so he cannot headline a PPV and do a good number. That was Weidman’s problem too. Silva sells PPVs so a Silva-Rockhold fight can headline a PPV and pull a good number. Of course, Dana is going to say he thinks his money making star won the fight. I have watched the fight again and it was Silva’s lack of action in the first three rounds that gave those rounds to Bisping.

      I agree that I would like to see Silva fight again. He needs to understand that his karate antics are not working for him. It just makes him look inactive and his opponents now realize that when he does that, if they can just be busier, they can win that round. He needs to go in there and fight like he can fight and go out on his shield. If he gets caught, he gets caught and so be it, but when he throws strikes he does damage. It look now like he is just afraid to get hit and his antics are to keep from getting knocked out.

  • Bee Dubyu

    Herb Dean is one of the worst referees in mma. Bisping could not have defended himself if Silva had continued his attack. Bisping was laying against the fence defenseless. Silva hasn’t learned from previous stupid decisions that he has made in the ring.

    • Jason Johnson

      You are insane. Herb is one of the best in the business. Yes, the knee landed and Bisping was dropped. Pretty much at the same time the knee landed, the bell rang and the round was over. Bisping was actually complaining to the ref after he was dropped. Yes, he was out of it, but still able to get to his feet. He was not completely out. I agree that if there was even 10 more seconds in the round, Silva would have finished him. BUT THE BELL RANG ending the round so Silva could not have continued his attack. Bisping, by the rules, had 1 minute to get to his feet and continue. He got to his feet within 10-15 seconds. Yes, still whoozy and wobbley but he got up and so, he made it through the round. He then recovered enough to make sure Silva did not finish him in the last round. So because Silva landed a great knee and Bisping crumpled(which he did), at the moment the bell rang and ended the round, Herb Dean was supposed to say, “well the round ended, but that was a great knee, so fight is over despite the fact that Bisping made it to his feet and to his corner” Go back and watch the round again. Right as he landed the knee, the horn sounds ending the round. Bisping sat there complaining to Herb, so he was conscious and alert(alert enough) so he made it through the round. Case closed.

  • Larry Fyne

    I pretty much developed a real distaste for Silva in the fight with Weidman. His cool-jerk antics in the ring just prior to Weidman knocking him out crossed him off my list…for good. That display said a lot about Silva’s true character.

    • Jason Johnson

      It was his same clowning antics that cost him this fight. From what we have seen in recent years, it looks like he does that out of a fear or worry. He was not clowning early in the first until Bisping hit him with a solid left hook. After that, he started to do his karate stances and move his hands all crazy and not engaging. However, like with Weidman, Bisping did not freeze when he did that and moved forward and threw strikes, landing quite a few. They were not hard shots but, given Silva’s lack of offense, won Bisping the rounds and ultimately the fight. Silva fans cannot grasp that. One beautiful flying knee does not win you a five round fight. Two dominate rounds out of five does not win you the fight, when you lost the other three rounds.
      The sad thing is that his performance, or lack there of, are going to give credence that he was only good because of PEDs. I am actually in the minority that think he was not on PEDs his whole career. He had a gruesome leg injury that required surgery. Like with most post surgery rehabs, he was prescribed steroids to recover. Once again, just my opinion, but perhaps he saw the benefits that they gave him with his recovery from his injury, or perhaps he felt that he needed to keep taking them because he felt his leg couldn’t handle it without them. Whatever the reason, I think he saw how much stronger and better they made him feel and he then made the conscious decision to keep using them after his leg was deemed 100%. It was then that he became a cheat. It was still cheating but I think it was the injury and his ego of being”the Spider” that lead to the continued PED use.

      • z3r0C007

        I actually took his clowning to mean he’s just not interested in fighting that much anymore.

        The ironic part is it’s given him three losses in the last four fights – something that should give someone who’s either a) not interested in fighting or b) thinks he’s still THAT much better than everybody else (when he clearly isn’t) a moment of pause to think about his future.

        • Jason Johnson

          He clowned when he was dominating the middleweight division. The difference was that when he clowned, his opponents would stop and freeze, think or waiting for some crazy punch or kick that would knock them out. Weidman did not react that way an just stayed moving forward and throwing and as we all know, eventually landed and knocked him out. Bisping did the same thing. When Silva clowned and did his best Steven Segal impression, Bisping was not phased and kept to his game plan. Had Silva not clowned and engaged more I think he could have stopped Bisping early, well before he landed the knee. He was still pinpoint with a lot of his strikes. It just looks like he is more concerned with not getting hit, then with hitting his opponent, a la Floyd Mayweather.

    • Word

      Yes Connor can do the SAME exact thing in the ring & somehow it’s some magical, tactical, science of fighting. Yes I see the double standard here loud & clear.

      • Larry Fyne

        There’s no double standard and it’s NOT the same thing…and before you say it- it’s not racial either.

  • Gabe

    Old washed up fighters should never fight anymore, at least not on TV. They looked too stupid and amateurish. Waste of time.

  • The author of this article needs to don some objective glasses… Silva was “only Silva” when he scored the flying knee? So in your mind, the “real” Silva should have just walked in and KO’d Bisping and that would be it?

    Got it…

  • Taylor

    Silva should have retired a while ago, but sadly he took a 10 fight contract before weidman, making this only his 4th and he’s said he plans on finishing it out. Even talking about a title fight prior to this loss.
    His legacy is already shattered by the drug test, regardless of how he performs at almost 41 years old.

  • John Smith

    Jon Bones Jones ✔ ‎@JonnyBones
    Absolutely I saw many glimpses of greatness during that fight. He definitely still has it
    1:17 AM – 28 Feb 2016

  • Jason Johnson

    I am a fan of Anderson Silva, but people need to get off the hype train. Since the fight ended I have seen comment after comment about how Silva was robbed, and Bisping won only because the fight was in England. No, Bisping won because he won the first three rounds. Silva decided he would clown, and play “karate kid” by doing his crazy karate hands, and stances, but not actually throw anything. Bisping was busier and threw AND LANDED strikes. Bisping caught Silva a couple of times, one that dropped him in the second. After that Silva looked a little tentative like he was concerned that Bisping’s strikes effected him.(He had the same look after the 1st Weidman fight). If anything was “luck” it was the fact that Bisping, for some idiotic reason, decided to have a conversation with Herb Dean while he was in a fight. He took his eyes off Silva to ask Herb to stop the fight(for like the third time) so he could get his mouthpiece. At that moment Silva charged, threw the knee, a beautiful knee, and landed it. Right at the bell. There was no conspiracy to screw Silva, the round ended despite that fact that Silva and his corner celebrated. Herb immediately said the fight is not over 2 seconds after the round ended. Yes, had Silva had another 10 seconds, the fight would have been over, but he didn’t. Bisping survived because, no matter what you think of him, he is always in tremendous shape, has great cardio, and that is why he was able to survive and continue. Silva needs to understand that he no longer gets the benefit of being the GOAT. His clowning antics and showboating, no longer look like he is intimidating his opponents. It looks like he is clowning and not advancing or being active and scoring. I believe had he been more active he would have won that fight. When he did open up and strike, he was more effective and had Bisping moving back. He just did not do it enough. That said, Rockhold will beat him. And I can’t stand Rockhold.

    • cheflacsto

      Silva knocked Bisping down in round 3 and almost finished him. Mike got 1, 2, and 4.

      • Jason Johnson

        Exactly. Since Silva did not finish him(almost doesn’t count), Bisping won 3 rounds to 2 and thus, won the fight. I do not understand why people are so confused by this. One great round does not win you the fight, if your opponent makes it out of that round and goes on to win a majority of the other rounds.

  • Jala Mia

    Opinions…free for all. The Silva I saw is still a force in that weight-class. However, it will be stupid of him to come in and keep clowning like that when everybody has stepped up their game and he has lost the fear factor that tormented his earlier opponents. Chael lost to him twice but showed exploitable situations in Silva. Weidman nailed him twice (accident or not). To have any real chance against any of the top guys, he needs to become a fighter and leave the ‘entertainment’ for others. That said, if anyopne thinks Silva is done, they need to really watch the fights and re-analyze. Age-wise and achievement-wise, he should retire…but that is his call

    • Kev H

      So he is a still a force, but age-wise and achievement-wise, he should retire. Got it.

      • Jala Mia

        Glad you did…since your response is not sarcastic. I love people with good understanding ):

  • Joe Mc Geehand

    Without a load of Steroids Silva isn’t much of a fighter,nothing but a Brazilian lab experiment like most of the Drug cheats from Brazil

  • lonniex

    represented the sport well?… uh?.. suppose so, if you go for using PED’s as “doing well…”

  • aNYagenda

    “2. Luke Rockhold is Looking Good (I don’t mean it like that)”

    #NoHomo ?

  • Jeffro

    While I didnt see the fight, only the video replay of the knock down it is clear the fight should have been stopped. Bisping was out and defenseless. Any time a fighter goes down like that it is an immediate stoppage. Whether I like the fighter or not I want them to be safe and pounding on a guy obviously out is not good for any fighter nor the sport. With any competent ref the match would have been over. Justifying a bad call citing well he just didnt fight that well the whole fight or what have you is BS talk.

    Personally I will admit I hate Bisping. I think he is a classless cheater that always complains about phantom strikes the minute he is in trouble or uses the mouth piece gag. Could he kick my tail 6 ways to sunday? Absolutely. I was never a fan of the Spider’s fighting style but he is the man especially at his age still getting in the octagon.

  • John Baranchok

    I disagree that Silva is washed up. Two fight in about two years. He couldn’t have possibly been on the top of his game, no matter how good or bad. He needs a few more fights to see if he can get back to form IMO

  • glove1220

    Totally disagree that Silva is washed up. When he turned it on, he absolutely owned. His fights are his to win, mentally. He’s not even close to finished.

  • Tonka Thor

    I agree Silva is done. The guy showed his glass jaw again getting tagged with a jab and nearly crubled.

  • unclerooster

    Silva is40 years old, his best days are behind him. He lost 3 of his last 4 fights and hopefully we never see that cheater fight again.

  • Lee Plang

    silva used to enjoy humiliating lesser opponents..NOW ITS PAYBACK!!!

  • LCIV

    If he would’ve attacked more instead of trying to make Bisping miss (and failing many times), Silva would’ve won. No doubt. Bisping was very prepared for this fight.

  • Word

    Although I’m a Silva fan, I do believe that Bisping “by points” won that fight. But I find it hilarious how eveyrone hates Silva because of his “clowning” around in the ring but yet your boy Connor M. can do the same thing & it’s some magical, science filled tactical genius of fighting. Complete double standard. I wonder why?

    • WrestlersRuleMMA,son

      Lots of people don’t like Conor’s clowning. But, I can tell you the difference. Conor’s clowning is with words. Silva’s clowning is in the ring itself. There is a difference.

  • pete

    With regard to the comment below ……..uh, seriously? Go back and watch the Demian Maia fight, one in which Dana refused to put the belt around Silva’s waist because the fight was so disgraceful. Add in recent events with drug testing and tell me again about this “Ambassador” of the sport. Talented? Yes. Opponents were defeated before entering the Octagon. But, I love all this hyperbole about GOAT. Yeah, for a while, then he starts getting beaten soundly by younger, better fighters. Suddenly, not so GOAT anymore. Not for long anyway. 10 more better, more talented GOATs are in the making. He’s a stain on the sport. Good riddance, pal.

    “He should retire, preserve his legacy and become a UFC ambassador. He’s
    represented the sport well, defeated the best in their prime. No one
    wants to see a performance like that again from a guy once regarded as
    the best of all time.”

  • cheflacsto

    I disagree with the article stating that Anderson is done. Anderson looked way better than Bisping at multiple points during that fight. Besides the flying knee he was on the attack before it happened and he dominated RD5. The facts are that Anderson is older, a little slower because he did miss more than he normally does, but his skill set was far superior to Bisping’s. When Anderso attacked Michael had no answer for him. Anderson need to stop the playing around and be more serious in there, for sure the other fighters have gotten better, Anderson is older but if he takes it serious and goes for it, protects himself then I think he can be a contender. If he continues to play around he is going to have more losses, and I am not sure that he is going to change, but I still enjoy watching him.