UFC 97 Redemption has to be one of the most appropriate titles for an even in quite some time. Redemption for Chuck, to try and show us that he has succumb to age and prove to the world that he has fallen behind in the MMA world.
Redemption for Shogun to prove that he gassed for a reason for the Coleman fight and that we haven’t seen the best of him yet.
But more importantly Redemption for Anderson Silva, the UFC Middleweight champion, who seems to be sliding down the hill, in the eyes of many, very similar to the demise of Chuck Liddell.
Anderson Silva seems to have left a bad taste in the mouth’s of many after his last several performances, most recently Patrick Cote.
His last solid fight of domination was against Dan Henderson, over a year ago. Since then Silva proceeded to move up a weight class and knock out James Irvin in the first round.
Then Patrick Cote came along and even though ending up losing due to a knee injury, seemed to put some more doubt into the minds of many.
Of course the doubts had already been there in Silva’s Jiu-Jitsu after we saw an extremely weakened Travis Lutter fully mounted on the champ. Although, he was unable to finish and was eventually submitted via triangle choke.
None the less, the ideas were planted. The questions seemed to arise again after the Cote; is Anderson Silva the untouchable force he was first conceived as.
Or is this the case of people just grasping at straws to bring down whichever fight is that the top of the food chain? We do see it quite often with Fedor.
Silva does hold an impressive 23-4 record and one could argue that one of his losses he technically wasn’t beaten, he was disqualified due to an illegal kick to the head.
One could also argue that another loss was his first professional fight, which was actually a split decision.
On the other hand his other two losses were due to submissions.
The question still remains, does Thales Leites have the chance to be the man who dethrones the middleweight king. The man described by many as the best pound for pound fighter in the world?
Of course he does. Will he?
Many say he won’t. He doesn’t have the stand up to stay vertical with Silva. Many even say he doesn’t deserve the fight. He is just another barely above average fighter which Dana White is feeding to Anderson Silva, much like a live feeding of a lion at a zoo.
Yes, Silva will be coming in with a chip on his shoulder, proving the critics wrong, showing that he is and will remain the middleweight champ.
However, Leites is coming in a massive underdog; he has been written off by mostly everyone who isn’t from his camp. He is expected to do the same thing so many have done before him; lose to Anderson Silva.
He has nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Silva has everything to lose and not to much to gain. He is supposed to win this fight and if he does, so what, we knew it would happen. But if he loses it would be, as I’m sure Mike Goldberg will say; The biggest upset in UFC history!
In my opinion, this weekend in the beautiful city of Montreal, we are going to see something that we don’t see to often; Mr. Silva is going to lose his title.
I believe that Leites is going once again expose the weakness of Silva’s Jiu-Jitsu and dethrone one of the most feared strikers in the world.