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Did Anderson Silva's Performance Cost Zuffa?

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If you are reading this you already know that Anderson Silva is arguably the greatest fighter on the planet at the moment. Counting the Cote fight, Silva is a perfect 8-0 in the octagon with none of his fights going the distance. During this eight fight run Silva has pretty much destroyed some of the best fighters in the world in his weight division. As great as he is though, he has been a pretty dismal PPV draw for Zuffa. If fact if you look at the estimated PPV rates for the events he participates he hasn't cracked the 400K barrier. Whereas established stars like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture routinely pull in between 400-500k PPV buys each time they fight.

However, all that seemed to be changing as the UFC hype machine got behind Anderson Silva once they figured out Rich Franklin could never beat him. They have done numerous countdown shows and an all access show to help build him into a PPV draw. He has fought on Spike TV twice in front of millions of viewers to aid their cause. As the build up to UFC 90 was beginning to apex you began to sense that Anderson Silva was on the verge or super stardom. He got a huge reaction from the crowd at the weigh in, and also got a nice reaction from the crowd as he walked toward the cage to do battle. Many people were eager to watch him fight, even though most people knew his opponent posed no threat to dethrone him as champion.

As Silva danced and toyed with Cote during their match up this past weekend, you could feel the crowd begin to turn against him. They tuned in to see him destroy Cote, only to witness Silva actually run around the cage once. When he did engage he dominated the French Canadian, but the engages were too few and far between. Silva is certainly entitled to fight the way he wishes, but from a money making stand point he didn't do the UFC any favors. They put a ton of money into helping build Silva into a legitimate PPV draw only to see it possibly go down the drain.

The only saving grace that Silva has is the ability to move up to the stacked LHW division and fight some of the biggest names in the sport. However, it is not written in stone when that will happen or who he will fight. If Silva remains in the middleweight division for his next fight, it's doubtful he would pull the PPV buys that he would have had he taken care of business this past weekend.