As I start this article, understand I am a Silva fan.
Almost every MMA website and poll out there has this gifted fighter at the top, pound for pound, possibly the greatest ever. So while we all agree that Anderson’s legacy is intact, why am I questioning his relevancy in MMA?
Let’s take a look.
Silva is going to face Chael Sonnen August 7th at UFC 117 for the Middleweight Title. While Chael has talked an immense amount of trash, and stirred up some great conversation, we all know Silva is going to win this fight.
Take a step back now, what if Chael does win? Does this tarnish Anderson’s legacy? No, not in the slightest.
Sonnen is a great fighter, and should at least give Silva a challenge, but let’s be honest, when we look back 10 years from now, who are we going to discuss?
If the MMA Gods shine on Chael the night of 117, and he does pull it off, we can expect an immediate rematch, and beat down from Silva. Then everyone will shake their head and agree, maybe Chael’s win was a fluke, maybe Silva didn’t take it seriously.
Maybe, maybe, maybe.
There can be hundreds of scenarios that could be argued.
Still, we all know that Silva is the better fighter, and his legacy is intact, with a win or a loss.
So, where does Anderson go from a win?
With a win, everyone will again light up the message boards and write articles on how great he is, or how he should have been more aggressive in the octagon, or how…that fact is, a win is a win. After that? Does he fight Vitor Belfort? Okami? Maia again? All fighters Silva has either beaten or should beat.
What else can he prove at this point?
What does “The Spider” do to stay relevant and not just another “untouchable” champion with nothing to prove? Maybe move up to 205’s and compete Light Heavyweight?
In this writer’s opinion, to stay relevant, he almost has to move up.
So where does Anderson go from a loss? Like I said earlier, back into the octagon for an immediate rematch with Chael, and if that happens, be prepared to see Silva pummel Sonnen. After that? Back into title defenses and fights we know he is going to win.
Where is the relevancy in that? I understand being the champ, this is what happens, fighters challenge you for the title, but when the challenge is gone, then what?
I am going to call that the “Fedor Syndrome.” Fedor dominated for a decade, and towards the end, we might have been surprised at who beat him, but not that he finally got beat.
It was inevitable.
Some questioned Fedors opponents, and that he never fought anyone really credible, now I am not saying Silva has not fought top notch talent, but do you see where I am going with this?
Silva is arguably one of the greatest fighters ever, and he is going to continue to dominate.
I am just asking the question, after dominating for so long, how do you stay relevant?