There was quite a lot of criticism towards the lack of aggression and “boring” nature of the Thales Leites vs. Anderson Silva fight at UFC 97, but there was no talk about the greasing incident that occurred before the fight.
Maybe people just didn’t notice or maybe they just didn’t care that Anderson Silva rubbed Vaseline all over himself right before the fight.
How this is going unnoticed or uncared about is what is puzzling me. When Georges St-Pierre was accused of the same offence, people were up in arms about the matter.
The difference is that GSP’s trailer rubbed Vaseline on his face, then accidentally rubbed his chest and back, which how they apparently regulate Georges’ breathing.
Anderson’s case is a little different. He has Vaseline applied to his face before he stepped into the octagon, which every fight has done before, but Anderson walked into the octagon, rubbed his hands on his face, and then proceeded to rub his chest and arms.
This is a little bit different than GSP. Anderson clearly knew what he was doing and he did it so blatantly in the middle of the ring when he knew the cameras would be on him. It was like he was almost saying “Look at what I’m doing.”
Anderson Silva as we all know by now was fighting Thales Leites, whose game plan was no surprise to anyone, take Silva down and submit him.
The question is, did Silva change the outcome of the fight?
Probably not, but maybe.
Thales did succeed in taking Silva down, but couldn’t advance his position and Silva eventually wiggled free.
I do not think that Silva greasing himself changed the outcome of the fight, but he did break the rules.
The question I ask, is why? Why did Silva decide to so blatantly break the rules?
He was a heavy favorite; he had to be confident going into the fight. Or was this a way to get back at Dana? We all know that he isn’t overly happy with Dana not letting him box. Maybe this is his way of showing his disapproval.
What really bothers me is why this is not a bigger deal. This has happened twice now, both in big title fights and only once has this been made into a serious controversy. In GSP’s case there was at least a little bit of a chance of innocence.
Is the UFC trying to push this under the rug or are they protecting their middleweight champion or trying to hide the feud between Dana White and Anderson Silva?
Matt Randall is a free-lance writer for MMA HQ where this article was also published. To check other great MMA articles as well as get your daily fix of news and videos you know what to do. To email the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org