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The Unpopular Opinion: The Absurdity of the Backlash

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So UFC 112 is in the books and all I can say is that it looked good on paper but ended up being hot garbage.  Thus I won't even delve into the undercard bouts because personally I never want to relive that Matt Hughes/Renzo Gracie mess of a fight again in my life.  The real story coming away from this show is the backlash from the middleweight champion Anderson Silva's performance.  It seems almost every blogger, every hardcore fan, and those inbetween had to stress their opinions on the topic.  Some going as far as saying Dana White should cut ‘The Spider'.  Dana White himself was visually and verbally outraged by the performance claiming Anderson could be the first champion to fight on a prelim.  You know what I say to Dana and to the fans alike?  You created this monster!  Not once has Anderson Silva or the people around him claimed he is the best pound for pound fighter...as far as I can remember that was Dana and the Zuffa machine hyping that.  Not once, to my knowledge, has Anderson Silva crowned himself the greatest striker in all of MMA.  That title was given to him by bloggers, analysts, and fans.  So now, Anderson Silva sits atop a pedestal that everyone around him has put him on and thus unfairly has to live up to these accolades.  Of course no one's talking about how he's broken records within the UFC, having defended the title more in one title run than anyone else.  Not to mention he is 11-0 in the UFC with only TWO decisions and having fought in TWO weight classes.  Oh my, we should burn him at the stake for being such a horrible and ‘disrespectful' fighter.

More after the Jump

SBN coverage of UFC 112: Invincible

Now I do not condone his actions in the final two rounds of his bout with Demian Maia yesterday, but I have a strong feeling that Anderson gassed himself out and kind of coasted instead of exerting too much energy.  But I won't make any excuses for him there.  Despite those two rounds, let's do the math.  In the three fights that he's garnered tremendous backlash, you can objectively say he lost one maybe two rounds out of thirteen.  So that means out of three title fights, Anderson controlled approximately 55 minutes of the 65 minutes he waged war.  Wow, really pathetic stuff.  To add to that, it's basically subjective for us ‘keyboard warriors' to play shoulda, woulda, coulda when it comes to a professional MMA fight.  Yes, Anderson Silva could've knocked out Thales Leites and/or Demian Maia.  Sure, he could have possibly taken Patrick Cote down and submitted him in spectacular fashion.  The fact of the matter is that we base these opinions on his fights with other fighters.  However, Leites, Cote, and Maia aren't Rich Franklin, Dan Henderson, Forrest Griffin, or Travis Lutter.  I always find it silly when fans say ‘well since Keith Jardine knocked out Forrest Griffin, Rampage should have done it'.  They're all different fighters with different styles, different strengths, some more durable than others, some harder to hit than others, etc.  I am sure motivation, money, and the lack of competition also played a role in his recent performances but such is the way of ‘The Spider'.  Should he be burned at the stake?  Absolutely not, three lackluster/unmotivated victories should NOT outweigh eight brutal, convincing stoppages against some of the very best in two weight divisions, that's just insane.  Dana White, I can understand his frustration, because he's thinking money moreso than anything else.  He was probably hoping to gain exposure in a new market and make some new fans with a brilliant performance from his ‘pound for pound' kings and one was ‘beaten' the other won, but not in the fashion White had hoped for.  Regardless, the sad thing is how everyone will be crowning Anderson the greatest fighter ever as soon as he sends another light heavyweight, middleweight, or heavyweight into a coma and thus UFC 112 on April 10th, 2010 will be long forgotten.  Such is the sad sad cycle of all of those fickle fans.

The real ‘disrespectful' aspect of this whole ordeal is the fact that Frankie Edgar (whether you believe he won or not...I believe he didn't), who came in more of an underdog than Demian Maia, won the UFC lightweight title and to most it is nothing more than an afterthought.  How crazy is it that people feel that Anderson Silva WINNING is more newsworthy than BJ Penn LOSING to Frankie Edgar.  Now that's true disrespect in my eyes and without a single capoeira dance mixed in.