Michael Disanto thinks so as he wrote about it at UFC.com:
The champion admitted afterward that Maia surprised him with his punches. I’m going to take that one step further. I think that Maia hurt him on several occasions with left crosses on the button.
I can think of three distinct moments when Maia landed beautiful left hands squarely on Silva’s jaw. I also remember the look on Silva’s face when those punches connected. He was surprised. If he wasn’t comfortably ahead on points, maybe he would have engaged at that moment. But again, that is not his temperament.
Thus, he remained passive, which allowed Maia to land a few more punches. Silva is lucky that he was facing Maia because the challenger lacks any real juice in his punches. I’ll say it now and will not back down from the statement: had he faced his original opponent and allowed those shots to land, he would have been knocked out with the first one.
That’s right, I said it. Vitor Belfort would have beaten Silva if he were the one throwing those left hands. Belfort, like Silva, is a counterstriker. He greatly prefers to react to an opponent’s attack than to initiate the action, though he will cautiously press forward if there is no other choice.
The difference between Belfort and Maia is that Belfort has knockout power in his punches. The best thing that happened to Silva’s legacy was Belfort pulling out of the fight due to an injured shoulder that required surgical repair. The problem, though, is that Belfort will be ready to go later this summer, and he poses the most significant threat for Silva in the division, bar none. Go back and watch Belfort’s middleweight bouts. He is absolutely destroying guys at this weight, and there is no reason to think that he won’t destroy Silva if the champion doesn’t figure out how to deal with counterstrikers.
Man, I laughed so hard after reading this talking the champ said Maia surprised him with punches. Silva also apologized for his performance too didn't he? Oh wait! Of course Belfort has better hands than Maia, but really Mike? Anderson Silva would have stood there with his hands down against Belfort? Do you really think Anderson Silva would play around with someone like Belfort? The whole argument is based upon IF Anderson did this or what. Anderson may dance like a fool, but he isn't one in the cage. Also, when did Belfort become this knockout machine? The guy has 12 wins via TKO/KO right(I'm not counting the Couture eyelid TKO)? Six of those came prior to 2004, and he's had five since 2005 with two of those as a middleweight. Guess who they were against?
-Terry Martin and Matt Lindland
The same Terry Martin that's suffered KO losses in 6 of his 8 career defeats. Matt Lindland's days as a top middleweight have BEEN over. Also, Anderson Silva has never been KO'ed and will have a four inch reach advantage if/when they fight. Maybe this was Dana White trying to put Belfort over as the next threat to Silva or something. I ain't buying it.