Appreciating Greatness: Why Everyone Should Watch Anderson Silva at UFC 153

October 7, 2012
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Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen at UFC 148When Michael Jordan was on his run competing as the greatest basketball player in the world, there was something special about seeing it all happen live.

It didn’t matter whether you were at the arena witnessing his amazing aerial acrobatics or just at home on the couch seeing him make moves over players like Craig Ehlo or Bryon Russell, it was just something to remember to say you saw Jordan at his best and in his prime doing amazing feats on the court.

It’s no different watching other players at the top of their game – saying you watched Wayne Gretzky win his final Stanley Cup or witnessed Pete Rose break Ty Cobb’s record or you had your eyes glued to the television as Joe Montana launched the football down the field to score a touchdown.

There’s something special about being a witness to greatness.

It’s for that very reason that everyone should be happy to tune in and see Anderson Silva face Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153.

Sure, on paper, it’s not the most compelling match-up and no one is denying that. Bonnar is 3-3 over his last six fights and just 8-6 overall during his UFC career. He also happens to be facing the greatest mixed martial artist of all time in Anderson Silva, and the odds are overwhelmingly in the champion’s favor despite the fact that he’s going up a weight class and taking the bout on short notice.

But the key to this entire match-up is the fact that Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter of all time, and there’s something to be said to just witnessing greatness in action.

Since joining the UFC in 2006, Silva’s statistics as a fighter are gaudy when compared to most other champions much less just other competitors inside the Octagon. He’s gone a perfect 15-0 in the UFC with a record-breaking 10 consecutive middleweight title defenses.

He’s finished 13 of his 15 opponents, and has been the main event or co-main event on every card he’s competed on since debuting in the UFC. Silva has demolished the best of the best the middleweight division could throw at him and just like he’ll do at UFC 153, he’s stepped up on two other occasions to fight at light heavyweight simply because the UFC asked him to do it.

Silva’s highlight reel is almost as impressive as the statistics that back up the claim that he is the greatest UFC champion that’s ever competed in the Octagon.

His catch of James Irvin‘s kick followed up by a one-punch knockout

His Matrix-like moves to avoid punches before socking Forrest Griffin in the face and dropping him to the mat like it was effortless.

His front face kick to the mush of Vitor Belfort.

And of course his fifth round comeback triangle choke submission to put Chael Sonnen away.

If anyone wants to point to his two decisions against Demian Maia and Thales Leites as less than stellar performances, go ahead, but even the great Michael Jordan didn’t win every single game he competed in during the NBA Finals.

And it’s the Jordan comparison that brings this full circle when talking about appreciating what Anderson Silva is about to do at UFC 153. No one will argue that it’s a top ten match-up or a championship super fight, and no one will tell you that Stephan Bonnar is the top name anyone would pick to dethrone Anderson Silva from his ultimate reign of destruction in the UFC.

But it’s no different than when Jordan went on his two separate tears through the NBA to win three consecutive titles during his career. When Jordan rematched the Utah Jazz during his final run with the Chicago Bulls, did anyone turn the channel because just about everybody had to know the greatest of all time was going to bring home another championship to the Windy City?

No, as a matter of fact, Jordan’s final run during the 1998 playoffs garnered the highest television ratings ever for an NBA finals.

It’s that philosophy that should apply in some part to Anderson Silva’s fight at UFC 153.

Granted, the UFC is asking you to plop down money to buy a pay-per-view versus watching Jordan do his thing on free TV, but think about this: at 37 years of age, Anderson Silva’s days are numbered inside the UFC.

While he’s waivered on several occasions talking about how much time he has left in fighting, let’s not kid ourselves into believing Silva is really going to stick around for much longer. He’s got a stock pile of cash in the bank, endorsement deals that will pay him a small fortune over his next few fights, and he also has a family at home that would surely love to see him spend time there as opposed to traveling and training so often for the UFC.

It may be one of the last times anyone gets to see Anderson Silva compete, and while watching any sporting event on video can be fun, there’s nothing like seeing it live. And in the world of MMA, there’s nothing better than seeing Anderson Silva ply his craft and do amazing things inside the cage live and in living color.

Much like Jordan’s finesse, composure and skill on the court, it’s just special to see Anderson Silva at his best and with his days in the UFC starting to count down, this might be one of the last few times you get the chance to see it live.

There’s just something special about witnessing greatness and learning to appreciate it while it’s still going on. Anderson Silva is the living personification of greatness in MMA and he’ll display that for everyone to see at UFC 153 in Brazil.

Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for your UFC 153 event coverage.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sammy.joe.315 Sammy Joe

    No thanks better fights on free tv

  • the fedup

    anderson silva should be fighting Chris Weidman. it is the job of a champion to defend his title against the best contender there is. that contender is Chris. until he steps up and faces the worthy in a fight that has some meaning i have to say he has lost something. his legacy is without a doubt platinum, and in an effort to go out on top it seems his desire to avoid legitimate threats to that legacy and his title. dodging the best to prove you are the best is an act of cowardice. its humorous that his camp use the excuse that he doesnt have the depth of fights to be deserving of the shot. it smells like fear. nothing more.

    • http://www.CombatScienceMMA.com/ CombatScienceMMA

      Yea Andersons a real coward, he’s afraid of a kid who has 9 total fights when he’s been undefeated in the UFC for 6 years now and going up in weight 3 times now just for the hell of it. Makes sense. Fake fans.

    • Weidman

      Wow, are you for real? You must be either 10 yr old, or some inbred trash. Anderson was not even scheduled to fight anytime this year, he’s simply stepping in to save the card. You were probably one of the people who said he was dodging the second fight with Sonnen. People like you always find excuses and reasons to spew utter stupidity and hate. When he fights and defeats Weidman, you would then say he is picking easy fights lol. All Silva’s defences were against opponents who earned there way up the ranking to the #1 contender spot. When Silva fought Forrest, Forrest had just been the LHW champion a couple months earlier, had Silva fought Forrest a couple months earlier he would have held 2 belts in the UFC. Because Forrest lost in a humiliating way, losers like you cry, ‘ Forrest is not a good fighter anyways’, Silva is picking easy fights’. Forrest has defeated both Shogun and Rampage. Maybe its because Silva makes the fights look easy. Bonnar has never been KOed and is still very risky and dangerous in my opinion.

  • adam1848

    I appreciate watching Anderson perform very much. And obviously anything can happen in MMA. But the point is, in any sport, a competitive, back and forth match up between two equally matched opponents or teams is a lot more interesting and exciting than watching a lopsided beat down. And when two unequal teams play in other sports, it is because they got matched up randomly in the rotation, or because thats how the teams fell into the brackets based on a predetermined formula. MMA is different. Joe Silva and Dana White get to sit down and decide who is going to fight who, and I believe they could have found a much more interesting match up for Anderson at 205 than Bonnar. I’m not counting him out…he is big, durable, and hits hard, and he could catch Anderson, which is why I have every intention of buying this card. Could it be a great fight? Sure. Is it likely? No. Are there a hell of a lot more interesting fights for Spider at 205 than this one? Yup.

  • mike

    Damon are you getting a hard on?

  • $26909079

    Biggest can cruhser known to mma

    • http://twitter.com/DerekAParent Derek Parent

      Can crusher? You’re an idiot. He doesn’t pick his fights…Dana does. The only time he asked not to fight someone was when they wanted him to fight people that didn’t deserve a title shot…then he kicked their asses anyway.

      • $26909079

        Blow me. He is a dodger and if you can´t see that you need to wake up. how many times have we heard him say that he doesn´t wanna fight in 205 ( duh because he would evetually get beaten very easily by Jones ) but when it comes to Bonnar he is up for it, other than bonnar, we have the juicer Chael, Leites, Maia, Cote and Leben. And look at those guys they were never a big threat in the sport to anyone

  • DamianCross

    The great thing about Anderson is that from the start of his career to the finish he’s wrecked every single oppoCHONAN CHONAN CHONAN LEG LOCK U MAD BRS CHONAN GET LEG LOCKED CHONAN

  • reguez

    If he’s the geatest of all time why can’t he stay at 205? There’s more to life than worrying about the Machida situation. Hendo has belts at 3 different weights. he’s the greatest ever to me.

    • Cale Meeks

      Hendo won the belt in 2 weight classes, not 3. Silva is considered better than Hendo because Silva submitted Hendo.

  • Drock420

    I like this fight because Bonnar has never been finished in his MMA career, he is tough, which is why I wish this fight was for 5 rounds. I don’t get why it isn’t 5 rounds because it is the main event.
    As for the people hating on Anderson and saying he isn’t great, only shows how little you know about MMA.

  • Darin

    This fight has that “upset” feeling to it. When everyone just seems to take it for granted that Silva will win easy… Silva taking the fight on short notice….. Bonnar’s toughness…..
    I’ve thought for a long time that Bonnar was underappreciated. He’s better than his record and he can take a ton of abuse while keeping his head and fighting smart.
    I give Bonnar about as good a shot at taking Silva as any middleweight.

  • Crashman

    So do you think that before the fight Anderson will be wiping Vaseline from his face all over his shoulders and chest again to show his greatness?

  • doug

    “But the key to this matchup is that Anderson is the greatest fighter of all time” Is this journalism or just a fan ranting on about who HE thinks is the greatest fighter of all time? Where do they find these great writers?!

  • DJILO SILVA
  • Beans

    I actually think that this is a great matchup, but certainly not in conventional terms. Bonnar is Rocky Balboa in Rocky 1. He’s dumb, slow, can’t hit the champ, but my he can take a lot of abuse. To have a fighter with an 8-6 record fight the undisputed middleweight and pound for pound champion, who has 10 straight title defences does seem a bit ridiculous, but if Bonnar makes it out of the first round (which I think he will) everybody is going to get behind him. It’s the classic underdog tale. You can’t just have any bum fighting the champ to create something compelling for the viewers, you need someone with tremendous heart like Bonnar. There are many ways that this could be terrible, for example if bonnar doesn’t come to fight, but to wrestle and just put his weight on Silva, or some other dodgy gameplan. I’d love it if Bonnar tried to turn it into a slugfest at every opportunity, got his ass kicked for 4 rounds and then almost pulls off a win against an exhausted sIlva in the 5th. Hey I said it first if it happens! Either way, I will be watching.