Before joining the ranks of the UFC elite, Anderson "The Spider" Silva was nothing more than an average fighter who had yet to tap into his unparalleled potential.
With a decent record of 15-4 coming into his first octagon battle, many UFC fans would have never considered the meteoric rise that would come afterwards; unless of course you were among the hardcore PRIDE fans like UFC commentator Joe Rogan, who was praising "The Spider's" abilities as if they came out of The Good Book.
After easily dismantling Chris Leben in his UFC debut, Silva snagged the UFC middleweight championship from Rich Franklin and has never looked backed.
Now widely considered the greatest pound-for-pound fighter walking the earth today, Silva has steamrolled through 11 straight opponents inside the octagon throughout two divisions.
Six (would be seven had Travis Lutter made weight) of those fights were an official defense of his championship. In his title defenses, Silva faced very minimal challenges on his way to victory.
So much so, that the always-improving champion has seemingly gotten bored with the lack of competition he's been receiving at middleweight, causing him to move up in weight twice to fight at light-heavyweight.
With such dominating performances over all of his opponents inside the cage, fans have grown accustomed to the brilliant displays of technique that Silva has often showcased throughout his career.
In addition to the fans growing spoiled due to his dominance, Silva himself has become sour with the lack of competition, which was made evident in his five-round fight with former UFC fighter Thales Leites at UFC 97.
Leites, who isn't even good enough to fight for the UFC nowadays, was miraculously given a shot to slice through the web of Silva, but failed miserably.
Much like his recent performance, Silva went into the fight with Leites to prove a point- which was to show that one-dimensional fighters such as Leites had no business being in the octagon with him.
Now whether that wins over fans is an entirely different debate. Of course, the backlash that followed Silva's performance against Leites came in furious anger.
Fans were appalled. Fans were so disappointed with their purchase of UFC 97, that many swore they would never support a card that featured Silva's name again.
With the new "challenges" in place, fans began to rethink their heated statements of never supporting a Silva card again.
With the new "challenges" in front of Silva, the greatest P4P fighter put on a striking clinic and knocked out Griffin in the very first round.
Cue the roars of approval. Cue the statements of Silva being the baddest man alive. Cue the fans' endless support for Silva once again.
Fast forward to UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi, and fans may notice a very similar situation for Silva.
Once again, Silva was inside the octagon defending his crown against a one-dimensional and undeserving challenger in Demian Maia.
Once again, Silva proved this to be true. This time he did so in a disrespectful way, mocking his opponent whenever the opportunity presented itself.
Much to the fans displeasure, Silva proved his point by winning the fight on two rounds of actual fighting alone, and that's being generous. Basically, Silva threw a childish temper tantrum inside the cage to show how much better he was than Maia.
Understandably so, fans are in an outrage. They are livid, calling for blood. Many want Silva to receive some severe form of punishment and a few are actually calling for one of the UFC's premier cash cows newly-signed contract to be terminated.
The fickle flies are still caught in "The Spider's" web.
While his recent antics have fans boiling within, this is nothing new. Fans were severely displeased with his last title defense against Leites, and Silva quickly changed the minds of many in less than four minutes in his very next fight.
Dana White will surely look to challenge Silva harder than he's ever been challenged before, giving the middleweight champion exactly what he wants.
There will be no punishment, even if White thinks it is, because a greater challenge is exactly what Silva has been clamoring for.
And when Silva gets that greater challenge, expect him to display his full arsenal of weapons once again.
When this happens, watch for more flies to land onto "The Spider's" web with little or no recollection of his fight with Maia.
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