It appears as if Anderson Silva’s opinions on his first two losses to Chris Weidman are wearing thin with the new champion's coach, Ray Longo.
“I just think he got dominated in both fights, and definitely doesn’t deserve anywhere near a third fight, in my opinion,” Longo said to MMAjunkie.com (via Steven Marrocco).
In their first fight at UFC 162, Weidman won the first round and knocked Silva out in the second. Then at their rematch at UFC 168, Weidman dominated Silva again in the first frame and checked a Silva leg kick in Round 2 that saw the Brazilian’s leg snap, thus bringing an end to Silva’s second attempt to reclaim his crown.
I believe that, if you pay attention to these technical details, you will see that (checking the kick) was instinct, not something that he trained to do. No, I don’t think (Weidman should consider it a win). It was an accident. And I’m pretty sure I would have won the fight.
Now, Longo is tempering his respect for Silva with some “constructive criticism.”
“My initial feeling was, wow, this guy,” Longo said. “I always had a lot of respect for Anderson. But the first fight, he had his feet the wrong way, he was leaning too much, (and) he knows what he did wrong. This time, Weidman didn’t do anything, and he got hurt.”
Longo continued on the topic of Silva getting a third fight with his prize pupil: “Me personally, [Silva is] going to have to earn his way back up, and maybe by the time he’s 45, we’ll be waiting for him.”
Of course, much of that assumes the Weidman is still champion when Silva reaches a point that he has earned another shot at the belt that used to be his. Should Weidman lose, both men could meet as contenders, and much sooner than anyone anticipates.
But no matter the logistics of a third clash, it’s clear Longo has an appreciation for Silva that is balanced by his own set of beliefs.
I think the guy deserves a legacy. I really hope he takes a higher ground and just admits that the kid beat him, fair and square, twice, and go on and live with all your accolades. I think it’s going to diminish his legacy if he keeps making excuses, because I don’t think that’s what a champion should do.
Obviously, this kind of honesty is not going to find a welcome among with a vast number of Silva fans. He owns nearly every significant record to be had in the UFC, where as Weidman is still a relative newcomer to the sport.
But Longo was not being diminutive of Silva or his accomplishments. He was just giving his honest opinion as both a longtime member of the fight game and as a coach of the defending champion.
No matter if fans of Silva label Weidman as "lucky" or not, the former champion is 0-2 in his last two fights and the middleweight division will continue on without him. What the landscape looks like when Silva has finally healed and signed for his next fight is far from certain.
But I hope that if both men meet again in the Octagon, it is a five-round affair. After two fights that both ended in the second round, it would be nice for both men to gain the kind of closure that is really only found on the other side of a long, honest fight.