Many fans were very candid in their comments following Anderson Silva's performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites. Even Dana White went so far as to apologize to the fans for Silva's lackadasical showings. However, in both outings, Silva was clearly the superior fighter but neither opponent would engage enough for him to throw caution in the wind. Unfortunately, Silva having the 'pound for pound' status looming over him was the one that fell victim to the backlash even though the old adage says it takes two to tango. So in a move to make sure that Anderson Silva would be fully challenged he was put in what was supposed to be a war with the scrappy former light heavyweight champion, Forrest Griffin. The outcome? If you didn't see it, it was a thing of beauty as the former champ landed maybe one glancing punch the entire duration while a taunting-hands-by-his-side Silva moved effortlessly in and out delivering punishing blow after punishing blow. Now suddenly after many fans had somewhat written Silva off as becoming a boring fighter who only fought not to lose, suddenly he's once again propeled to the top of the heap in MMA. My question here is...do some fans have a double standard when it comes to certain fighters?
Check out my points after the jump.
Many fans, pundits, purists, and whatever else you want to call people draw a great comparison between two very dominant fighters in today's MMA atmosphere, those two being Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. Georges St. Pierre since his dumbfounding loss against Matt Serra at UFC 69 has been on a legit tear through one of MMA's premiere divisions at welterweight. However, in doing so, he's produced some not-so-exciting bouts within that time, though winning each in very dominant form. Many fans tend to cheer GSP after each and every successful win, whether it by bone-crushing knockout, limb-stretching submission, or snooze-inducing decision...he seems to be immune from the backlash that follows some after their performances. Insert my rant. Anderson Silva has probably only lost one or two rounds during his stay within the octagon. Other than that, Silva has at times effortlessly made his opponents search for ways to survive rather than options of winning. However, in his fights prior to last Saturday's ego-crushing bout with Forrest Griffin, it seemed 'The Spider' bandwagon had been abandoned by many. Maybe it was just that Forrest is that big of a fan favorite, but even the live crowd that watched the weigh-ins booed the middleweight champ as he came up to be weighed, strange indeed.
The double standard I speak of though is one that many will probably see as me reaching, but to me it has to be said. GSP is one of, if not, my favorite MMA fighter. However, his bouts against Josh Koscheck and most recently with Thiago Alves were not exciting. While both were billed as huge barriers for GSP to climb and he did just that, no one can say he did it in jaw dropping or hair-raising excitement. So why didn't Dana White come out and apologize to the fans for St. Pierre's performance against Koscheck, which was a three round beatdown but was far from entertaining? Why hasn't he scrambled to find someone that can put up a good fight against the welterweight champion following his win over Thiago Alves? Why was Silva critized for not only winning every round against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites but doing it in his own flashy way? Is there truly a double standard here. Is it because GSP is seen as more of a wrestler than a striker, so he gets a pass for taking his opponents down and stifling them for three or five rounds? Is it because Anderson Silva spoiled us all with his early performances that saw him nearly decapitate Chris Leben, Rich Franklin (twice), and make Dan Henderson look like a deer in a headlight? Whatever it is, is it right? I myself don't think so, and for fans to question his position atop the 'pound for pound' rankings when he is one of the few guys discussed in those rankings that actually solidify what it means to be pound for pound, is ludicrous. If I were Forrest Griffin, I'd be mad at all the fans right about now because it was their constant criticism of Anderson Silva that made him even more dangerous at UFC 101. The fact remains, Anderson Silva doesn't control how his opponents fight. While guys like Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell's mentality of putting on a show first, winning later, has caught up to them; Anderson Silva's just doing his job and doing it in dominant fashion. So for all those that said Anderson Silva should have easily beaten Patrick Cote - HE DID! All those out there that said Anderson Silva should have no problems with Thales Leiters - HE DIDN'T! Don't get caught up in the double standard.