Anderson Silva isn’t convinced Americans were particularly sad to see his UFC title reign come to an end, especially those involved in the media.
The former UFC middleweight champ will never forget the night of July 6, 2013.
It was the night that marked the end of his historic run, a seven-year championship reign. After being knocked out by Chris Weidman at UFC 162, Silva awoke to thousands of fans raucously applauding and celebrating his defeat.
It’s hard for a fighter not to take such things personal. Silva, who had dedicated years of his life to the UFC, was cast aside in an instant for a new champion, who just so happened to be American.
During an appearance on Brazilian talk show De Frente Com Gabi, which was translated by MMA Station, Silva spoke with host Marilia Gabriela about a perceived bias in the United States:
“In USA…well, of course they were happy because the American won. No…I think it’s natural the way Americans and the American media treats me. It’s natural. They are very complacent in some aspects. They’re always rooting for the American to be the winner. They’re very patriots. But unfortunately for them it wasn’t happening. But finally happened due to my technical mistake.”
Outside of the obvious post-fight shock, it’s interesting that Silva believes American fans in general were happy to see him lose.
The celebratory reaction from the American media was due in a large part to the fact that many went out on a limb in choosing Weidman to win the fight. All of the immediate backlash for every MMA journalist siding with Weidman really showcased an entrenched devotion to Silva in the stateside fan base.
The vast majority seem to believe Weidman got lucky in the first bout, which is why Silva has already opened as the favorite in the scheduled December 28 rematch. A perceived bias likely exists when dealing with unknown fighters, but this certainly isn’t the case with Silva, who is arguably the greatest fighter in MMA history.
Silva is learning the hard way that American fandom is based around the present, not the past. People will love you as long as you continue to rack up wins and stay on top, but a loss is always a lonely plunge for any professional athlete.
All Silva has to do is defeat Weidman in the rematch, and it will be as if nothing had ever changed.