ANDERSON SILVA'S TRICK OR TREAT
By The Yacman, Ron Yacovetti
Host of MMA WITH YAC & J ON BRAWLERSTV.COM
It was UFC 90 night. It was also a big birthday bash for a very talented fighter and jiu-jitsu guy I have become good friends with, none other than Scott 'Einstein' Epstein. Many know him from his episode of the TapouT Show. An episode, hate him or not, that still rates amongst the highest of all of them, if not THE highest for sure.
Surrounding me were not only a crowd of MMA fans, as we packed in an upstairs room of a Sunset Strip Bar in Hollywood, CA, but also more jiu-jitsu guys trained under Eddie Bravo than an striker would be comfortable with.
A few others there were also MMA media guys like me, and as excited to see Anderson Silva back in action as anyone.
But what we ended up seeing did NOT look like the Anderson 'the spider' Silva that we've come to know, love and recognize. He seemed to be someone else.
Did he look tired? (as some speculated his lackluster showing could be the result of) - NO
Did he look scared, intimidated or confused as to how to execute against Patrick Cote? - NO
So what exactly happened?
I won't try to act as if I DO KNOW what went down. I don't know either, but we media folk can sure speculate our asses off and I'm about to do just that. But this line of thought is rooted in ideas that came from Anderson himself.
Perhaps it was just one week early, but just like the rest of America, Halloween time is when we 'become' someone else...we take on the persona, look and mannerisms of someone we often look up to or idolize.
For Anderson Silva, such a man to emulate seems to be all-time boxing great, Roy Jones Jr. And if you look again at Anderson Silva's performance that night, it looked somewhat like the same hand gesturing, showboating and slick periodic striking that made Roy Jones almost harder to fight than an actual ghost.
But Roy Jones fought 10 or 12 round fights, not 5. And Roy, to his credit, fought in longer spurts more often than what we saw at UFC 90, in the main event. But make no mistake about it, Anderson sure did do some of the hand and arm postures and distraction moves any Roy Jones fan would recognize like their own reflection in a mirror.
Plus...Anderson recently said he MAY retire sooner and he also said he was planning to fight Roy when he DID retire. That plan alone is indicative of a lot. Roy Jones, especially should be beat Joe Calzaghe (and he sure should), will still only have a limited window of time to sit atop the lightheavyweight or even supermiddleweight division. So much like the urgency felt by those clamoring to see Couture versus Emelianenko, so too is Anderson Silva before his pugilistic idol is no-one to have taken on anymore.
And lastly, one typical Roy Jones Jr. game plan would be to test a guy early, see what he can and can't do, what he can and can't take as well as what distractions he'd take like bait. Then, as Jones would open up his attack, if he felt the opponent would be around for the long haul, maybe due to a granite chin, he's slowly and systematically break the guy down and win a lopsided decision. In Roy's later stage career up until now, he would often not look as good or do as much if he felt less than challenged. This to me is the other circumstancial piece of evidence from UFC 90.
Anderson Sillva really was not overly challenged by Patrick Cote. He sure didn't seem to think so himself. Now this is no reflection on the talent and ability of Cote in a negative light. He is a bad ass, tough as it gets guy. But like the brilliant Joe Rogan himself said, Anderson is like Roy Jones in his prime, just far beyond the competitors in his time. I agree 100% with this statement by Rogan. Anderson even has the aura of invincibility Roy had for 11 years until finally suffering a legitimate loss.
Dana may have a little trouble trying to challenge Anderson in order to avoid what looked to many of us in that crowded Hollywood bar, like Anderson Silva was carrying Patrick Cote, putting on a show as if he had nine more rounds to go. It is a serious situation. Roy Jones made history in trying to find a challenge, becoming the first fighter in over 100 years of boxing to go pro at middleweight, then win a heavyweight title. So perhaps, Silva verus Emelianenko would satisfy Mr. The Spider a little more.
It was at the very least, odd, to see so little an attack or swarming output by Silva that night. The ending was almost as if divine intervention stepped in and said to Silva, "Ok, if you're not going to use the talents you've been blessed with tonight, let's just end this thing already" - and BAM, Cote's knee is shot.
So, with one week between UFC 90 and the big candy grab holiday, Halloween, it sure did seem like Anderson Silva became one of his heroes that night, Roy Jones Jr., in the same way my son will be Spiderman. He tried it on, he played the part and it sure was convincing. I sure would love the next Anderson Silva match to have a little more treat and a lot less trick.
PLUS CHECK OUT THE CLIP FROM SHOW # 1 LAST WEEK, BELOW!