For a fighter who “wants nothing more than a rematch,” Anderson Silva hasn’t appeared the least bit interested in facing Chris Weidman again.
The former middleweight champ made it clear before and after losing to Weidman at UFC 162 that he wasn’t interested in any rematches or title shots. In his post-fight interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan, he reiterated that he was tired, and fans needed to respect Weidman as their new champion.
But some just can’t take no for an answer.
Fans were shocked to see their hero, who reigned atop the UFC for seven years, defeated so emphatically. They weren’t interested in seeing Silva pass the torch and move onto other things. A need to be right and keep things in perspective superseded Silva’s wishes to ride off into the sunset and take on a non-champion role.
As customary, UFC president Dana White threw on the cape, costume and capacious smile and gave the fans what they wanted. At the UFC 162 post-fight press conference, White delivered the answer people wanted to hear from Silva:
Anderson Silva has lost fights on his record. Anderson Silva doesn’t know what it feels like lose. It’s been a very long time since he’s lost, so, I’m sure that’s sinking in and he’s got to deal with that for a few days. I guarantee you, no matter what he says publically and we’ve had this conversation before, I guarantee you there’s nothing he wants more than that rematch with Chris Weidman.
Does Silva want the rematch, or is it White and fans wanting the rematch?
Nearly an entire month has gone by since Silva’s devastating loss to Weidman, and we have yet to hear any sort of a declaration cry or challenge. When Georges St-Pierre got knocked out by Matt Serra so many years ago, he made it known that he wanted a shot at redemption. He wanted an opportunity to “climb the Everest once again,” as he metaphorically put it at the post-fight presser.
In Silva’s case, we continue to hear redemption talk from everyone but him. Lyoto Machida, Silva’s teammate, told O Globo (via Fighters Only) that the UFC pushed the fight on Silva.
“Anderson’s rematch is fair; the guy rule division for long time,” Machida said. “He maybe didn’t really want to fight for the belt again but the UFC demanded it. I believe it wasn’t only Anderson’s intentions that prevailed in this situation.”
If Silva truly isn’t interested in a rematch, what kind of a performance can we expect from the former pound-for-pound king? Better yet, do we even want to see an uninterested Silva take the cage against Weidman?
The UFC’s rush to cash in on a lucrative rematch could spell checkmate for one of MMA’s most illustrious careers.
Jordy McElroy is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon Worldwide.