So it finally happened.
On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Brazilian MMA fighter Anderson Silva was knocked out in the second round of the main event of UFC 162 by American Chris Weidman in a middleweight championship fight, which ended Silva’s nearly seven-year title reign and a 17-fight unbeaten streak in one fell swoop.
Now I’ll admit, I’m a very casual fan of mixed martial arts, but after seeing what happened to Silva a few nights ago, I have a number of feelings on the matter.
On one hand, I’m really bummed out about what transpired, as Silva’s image in my mind as “the baddest man on the face of the planet” is officially gone.
Though Silva had dogged it in a couple of his title matches in the pass, and he just escaped with a submission victory over Chael Sonnen in 2010, the majority of his matches usually ended with some sort of violent knockout or systematic destruction of his opponent.
For instance, one has to watch his fight against Forrest Griffin back in 2009, where Silva made him look like a rank amateur instead of a former light heavyweight champion.
But now, after he lost on Saturday, the invincibility around Silva is now gone.
In a way, it’s a lot like what happened to Mike Tyson when he lost to James “Buster” Douglas in 1990, minus all of the antics that took place in the years that followed which have taken away from the brutal knockout power that Tyson showcased in his rise to the top of the boxing world.
Although not seeing Silva with the title belt anymore is a bit of a bummer, he sort of had it coming with how the fight went.
One of the things that Silva has become known for in recent years, for better or for worse depending on your view point, is the fact that he often mocks his opponent by fighting with his hands down and seemingly taunting his opponent to come at him with their best shot.
While he has gotten away with it in the past, often to great effect, Silva’s antics finally got the best of him in the second round on Saturday as Weidman dropped him with a left hook after Silva was seemingly staggering in a mocking sense after being hit with a punch seconds earlier.
As anyone who competes in sports will tell you before they compete, you never take any opponent lightly, and that is exactly what happened in this bout.
Looking forward, it’s interesting to see what will happen next for Silva, especially since there is already discussion of a rematch between him and Weidman early next year.
However, I’m not sure I am totally interested.
You see, most of my interest in mixed martial arts came from the fact that I was more than likely going to see Silva perform a one-man destruction in his title fights, or simply mock his opponent with a one-man dance party.
Sure it’s not the normal route that one would want to watch a sport for, but in the business of entertaining the viewer, Silva certainly did that for me.
As much as the new pound-for-pound king Georges St. Pierre dominates in his welterweight title fights, my interest in stopping whatever I am doing to watch the Montreal native strut his stuff pales to what Silva was able to do in his bouts.
And now that his reign at the top is over, I’m not sure that my excitement level will be the same when he steps back into the octagon.
So it finally happened.