With a record-breaking nine consecutive UFC wins and counting to his credit, he has been as dominant as any fighter in the history of the sport during his reign of terror that began during the summer of 2006.
Recently, however, his lackluster performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites (at UFC 90 and UFC 97 respectively) have been the subject of harsh criticism from fans, media, and even UFC President Dana White.
Silva begs to differ, though. He is under the impression that a win is a win, and wants to continue to move forward and not dwell on the past.
“I want to please the fans and Dana White. I feel I did my job right. I want to focus on my next fight, and on training harder for now.”
In both of the aforementioned fights, Silva appeared uncharacteristically content in the cage. He was comfortable letting his opponents dictate the action, and was focused solely on staying mistake free.
As a result, we were treated to two insipid main events by one of the UFC’s biggest stars.
“I followed the game plan that I had trained. It’s not always possible to please all the fans, but I know that I did my job right,” said Silva.
In other words, he was hell-bent on being extra cautious in order to protect his middleweight championship belt, his undefeated record in the UFC, and his legacy.
Has he simply been protecting his status as a champion, or is it possible he has lost his killer instinct and/or his burning desire to be great?
According to Silva, “I haven’t lost my motivation. I am still very motivated to put on great fights and keep my belt.”
Nevertheless, as a result of his recent snooze fests the UFC has decided to pair him up against a guy who likes nothing better than to get in an opponent’s face and force him to engage.
That man is former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin, who will oppose Silva in a light heavyweight bout in the main event on August 8, at UFC 101. The fight will take place at the Wachovia Center, in Philadelphia, PA.
Griffin is notorious for his aggressiveness, undeniable spirit, and his “fight to the death” mentality.
Silva remains confident as usual going into this matchup, saying, “Forrest Griffin is a tough fighter with a lot of heart, but, like everyone, he has his weak spots.”
Only Silva knows whether or not he will come out and vigorously attack those points of emphasis.
Thankfully, the odds are that Griffin will be able to bring back the old Anderson Silva out of hibernation—the Anderson Silva that we have all grown accustomed to seeing—simply because of his fighting style.
That would be great news for all stakeholders but Griffin.
The old Anderson Silva was a guy who overwhelmed and physically dismantled the majority of the UFC middleweight division; including Dan Henderson, Nate Marquardt, Rich Franklin (twice), Travis Lutter, and Chris Leben.
Dana White and company think that Griffin will be the answer to the Anderson Silva riddle.
They are banking heavily on his ability to put pressure on Silva and force him to fight, and we will find out soon enough if the experiment will work.
Silva is not into forecasting the future though.
“I don’t know [about the outcome]. I can’t predict it. We will have to wait until August 8,” said Silva.
One thing that he is certain about is that it will be a memorable night.
“It’s going to be a great fight,” said Silva.
I never thought I would ever have to say this, but I will believe it when I see it.
Now, go make the bosses look good.
Derek Bolender is a staff writer for InsideFights.com and MMAmania.com. He is also syndicated at FoxSports.com and CNNSI.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/DerekMMAwriter and on Facebook. Look for future articles from him on BleacherReport.com.