Silva vs. Weidman: Does Anderson Silva Need to Change His Style?
Anderson Silva did his usual clowning around at UFC 162. This time however, everything didn't go according to plan.
Chris Weidman took full advantage of the openings presented by Silva keeping his hands low and perhaps secured the biggest upset in MMA history. Many fans have pointed out that Silva got what he deserved by showboating and this is simply a case of karma catching up to someone.
Of course it's easy to say, "Hey, maybe if Silva actually cared and didn't taunt his opponent so much the results would be different." But I don't believe Silva needs to change anything.
Silva's taunting and clowning around has managed to get into every opponent's head since he started making it a part of his normal repertoire. It began to work with Weidman as the stellar grappler opted to forgo his takedowns for strikes. The trap was nearly sprung until Weidman landed a perfect hook to take the victory.
All the credit should go to Weidman, as he beat "The Spider" at his own game and set up the fight-ending punch perfectly, yet this is still a case of a fighter getting caught. Silva didn't receive a vicious beating prior to the KO and was dropped with a single punch.
Silva's taunting forces his opponents to charge in and allow him to land a vicious counter. The strategy has worked every time except at UFC 162. Why should he change the way he fights due to one loss?
Perhaps the biggest reason Silva doesn't need to change anything is that he's 38 years old. He's at the tail end of his career and is pretty set in his ways. And he has every reason to be set in those ways.
You don't become the top pound-for-pound fighter by mistake. Whatever Silva has done thus far into his career has worked more times than not. As the saying goes, "use what brought you to the dance." For Silva, that's playing mind games and using his opponent's aggressiveness against them.
If there's a rematch, Silva knows he won't need to taunt as much. Weidman will undoubtedly have more confidence in his stand-up after knocking "The Spider" out and will likely be more willing to engage on the feet.
Silva will also have to know that regardless of how good he is at avoiding strikes, anyone can be knocked out on any given night. At 38 years of age, Silva's chin can't handle as much punishment as it used to. Yes, he's been able to avoid taking a lot of punishment through his UFC career, but the older a fighter gets, the less punishment they can withstand regardless of their history.
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