UFC 101: Declaration was supposed to be Anderson Silva's biggest test in his impressive fighting career.
Silva, who had already run through the top competition in the Middleweight division, was moving up to Light Heavyweight for the second time. His opponent, the scrappy Forrest Griffin, was expected by some to give Silva the fight of his life.
On paper, Forrest looked very capable of stopping Silva, or at least hanging with him for a few rounds.
Let's look at some of the stories surrounding this fight:
- Forrest is naturally one of the larger men in the division.
- Forrest was a former champion of the division, and held highly impressive recent wins over Rampage Jackson and Shogun Rua.
- Forrest has a great chin, accurate and calculated striking, and strong wrestling and submission skills.
- Anderson looked lackluster in his last title defense, and had previously talked about a potential retirement in the near future. His drive to fight was in question.
I figured Forrest, who usually comes into fights with a solid game plan in place, would want to take Silva down and wrestle him.
I figured Forrest would take a few early shots from Silva, and his heavy heart and warrior mentality would kick in.
I figured I would see a back-and-forth competition between two great fighters.
I was wrong.
More wrong than I have ever been.
What I saw last night was something amazing. Now I know how the Apostles felt when they saw Jesus walking on water. No, scratch that, that doesn't even compare.
What Anderson Silva showed in the octagon last night was the equivalent of Jesus surfing the high tide without a board.
Forrest was quickly and completely dismantled within three-and-a-half minutes, losing in the worst and most embarrassing way imaginable.
I've seen fighters get dominated before. I've seen fighters be outmatched, and I've seen quick knockouts—but nothing like this.
Forrest Griffin suffered the worst loss in UFC history.
Silva waited for over two minutes or so, feeling Forrest out, before knocking him down with a looping right. He then started toying with Forrest, like a cat playing with an injured mouse.
He began dropping his hands and taunting Forrest, ducking and weaving every punch that was thrown before knocking Forrest down again with a straight left. After offering to help him up, Anderson continued letting Forrest swing at him.
Finally, it seemed he became bored. He effortlessly reached in to Forrest's oncoming flurry of punches and dropped him with one quick right jab.
Forrest lay on the mat like a broken man. Like a soulless, hollow shell. Like a beaten man completely overwhelmed by another man's immensely superior skills.
He was done. Not knocked out, just done. The ref then called the fight.
The crowd in attendance, whom had surprisingly boo'ed Silva in the introduction, were in awe. Anderson celebrated, while Forrest immediately hopped up and ran backstage. Yes, he almost did a full-speed sprint, with his corner and security trying to catch up behind him.
I imagine he never stopped running. We'll see him on the news in a few weeks sporting long hair, a full beard, and a "S*** Happens" T-shirt. Still running from his shame.
The UFC 101 event was titled "Declaration". Anderson Silva made his declaration in the strongest way possible. He proved that he is truly the pound-for-pound greatest fighter in the world. A title that is often thrown around, but now has found it's most deserving suitor.