Anderson Silva's career is on the downswing.
I know, I hear the people lining up to totally beat me up for saying such stupid, uninformed, un-MMA fan-like words. Hear me out.
Silva has had a long layoff recently, with his last "good" fight coming against Dan Henderson over one year ago. And no, James Irvin and Patrick Cote were not good fights for Silva no matter what people think of Cote (I personally am a Cote fan). I digress.
The UFC Middleweight champion turns 34-years-old tomorrow, and with only six fights remaining in Silva's career agenda (five after Leites), it is the most unlikely opponent that will begin the downfall to a legend's career.
Thales Leites, a 28-year-old, hailing from Brazil (like Silva), will expose Silva's suspect ground game. Sound like stupidity? I urge you to read on.
If there has been any chink in the armor of the UFC Middleweight champ, it has come via the ground game. Nate Marquardt, pancreas champion and submission specialist in his own right, was able to take Silva down and make the fight interesting before Silva turned on the juice.
Now, I'm not saying Leites will beat Silva. He won't. Not even close.
I do believe, however, that Leites may show people a little bit more than they expected from the 14-1 product.
"Yeah, this will be a very tough fight, anything can happen inside the cage."
That much is true, and that will hold true. Silva will win. Not early, that's my prediction. Give it 2-3 rounds tops. However, if Silva lies on his back for any amount of time, take a good look at what future contenders (i.e. Demian Maia, Nate Marquardt, Michael Bisping) might use to defeat Silva.
Disclaimer: Anderson Silva is not a bad fighter, he will dominate for another year or so at least, and this is simply a blueprint. Any distasteful comments about myself not knowing MMA will not be tolerated, because I do know Silva's domination.