Anderson Silva had Demian Maia running scared for three rounds in their UFC 112 bout.
Depending on how you would define “worst fight," this may not be the best choice. After all, Anderson Silva came terribly close to losing to Chael Sonnen back at UFC 117. However, in terms of both damaging his career and just plain boring fans, his worst fight was easily his infamous encounter with Demian Maia in Abu Dhabi.
The actual scope and importance of UFC 112 is fairly unknown by the average fan. Flash Entertainment, a company owned by the government of Abu Dhabi, bought 10 percent of Zuffa, the UFC's parent company. To commemorate the deal, the UFC put together a blockbuster card that featured two championship bouts, a fight between golden age veterans Matt Hughes and Renzo Gracie, and a slew of hot prospects.
They took all these fighters, flew them to the Middle East, set up an entire stadium just for the occasion and got great fight after great fight. Then Silva and Maia showed up.
In the first two rounds, Silva seemed like he was going to embarrass Demian Maia the way he did Forrest Griffin. He danced. He landed leg kick after leg kick. He rocked his opponent repeatedly and taunted the out-of-his-league Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist. From there, Silva opted to let Maia come to him. Maia was not big on this idea.
While the blame, for the most part, lies with the fight's loser for his absolute refusal to engage with Silva, commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg complained about Silva's supposed unwillingness to simply end the fight. This combined with Dana White's anti-Silva tirades caused a public relations nightmare for Ed Soares and his management team.
Time has healed this wound, but it is important to remember that there was a time when Anderson Silva was the least liked champion in the UFC.