Anderson is the top pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world today in my opinion. In fact, I agree with the assessment of UFC president Dana White. I also think he is the best ever in the short history of this sport.
These kinds of comparisons are much harder to make in boxing which has a much longer history of great fighters. MMA is still very new and greatness stands out in stark contrast to its surrounding parts.
The one glaring sour spot in Anderson Silva's UFC tenure is his three bouts where he seemed to decide to joke and showboat instead of engaging or damaging his opponent.
In 2008, I met my cousin in Chicago for UFC 90. It was the first (and only) time the UFC has ever been to Illinois. I basically drove all that way to see Anderson Silva. It is not often that one can witness such brilliance in the fight game and I wasn't going to miss it.
What I ended up getting was a great UFC debut from Junior dos Santos and a very uninspired performance from Silva in his bout. Silva showboated and mocked Cote for two rounds and then Cote suffered a knee injury ending the bout. Needless to say I was not very happy considering the $100 spent for a nosebleed seat.
The second Anderson Silva bout where he exhibited this strange behavior was against Thales Leites at UFC 97. In this bout Leites refused to engage for the most part and Silva finally got to the point where he just decided to mostly dance around and retain his belt and move on. Luckily, he rebounded with an amazing jab knockout of Forrest Griffin at UFC 101.
The third bout took place at the first ever UFC event in Abu Dhabi. In this match Silva hurt Demian Maia in both of the first two rounds but never moved in to finish. He spent the last three rounds being very arrogant and attempting to make the challenger look like a fool.
Silva infuriated many of his fans and the UFC brass. It also marked the first time that I literally walked out of a restaurant before the end of a UFC fight.
So, will this main event be a repeat of the middleweight champion's previous strange outings? I think there is very little chance of it being a bad fight. In the three bouts I mentioned above, Silva seemed to have little respect for the men he was facing and it showed in the way that he acted like a modern day Muhammad Ali, dancing and belittling his opponents.
Not only do I think Silva knows that Yushin has earned his shot at the title and will take him seriously, but the fact that he was disqualified in their first bout five years ago will give him the motivation he needs to want to finish. Not only do I think he will finish this fight, I see him doing so in brutal fashion.
His only worry is the wrestling of Okami which is quite good. However, Anderson showed against Chael Sonnen that he can finish off of his back even when he is in trouble.
So, will this main event be a good fight? I think it will be. It really is up to Anderson Silva to determine the outcome. Its his fight to win or lose.
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