Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is most likely fighting for his legacy against Chris Weidman in the main event of this Saturday’s UFC 168 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
The aura of invincibility that he carried throughout his dominant title reign was stripped from him right after Weidman floored him a left hook at UFC 162. But it was how “The Spider” lost that left most fans with their jaws hanging wide open.
Silva used more clowning and taunting than he normally does against one of his most dangerous opponents and he paid for it. Many of Silva’s fans felt robbed, that they didn’t get the best version of their beloved champion that night.
But Silva has insisted that "he’s back” for the second Weidman fight. He also insists that he’s not going to change a thing about his fighting style. It is what got him to the lofty position he enjoys now, after all.
At the core of the mater Silva is a human being, and human beings make mistakes. He knows what he did wrong against Weidman and will look to rebound strong from his only UFC loss. Silva appeared in a UFC interview to discuss who he really is outside of the cage:
“I’m a very calm and funny guy who likes to be surrounded by friends and family. I love to smile and to have fun with my friends. This is the real Anderson Silva. My real friends like me. I can’t do anything about those that don’t like me.”
Silva is undoubtedly a fun-loving legend in the fight world, but his showboating can get him into trouble as we saw this summer. But that may only be one of the things that went wrong that night. Silva is known for bringing in a huge team to each of his fights. This time around, however, he’s been looking to trim his team down a bit in an effort to prepare more sharply for his second go-around with Weidman:
“This is one of the things that we change. Our team had a lot of people with different thoughts. Although it was not the reason why I lost, from that we analyzed what was good and what was bad, so we decided to change it."
Changing up his team may yield positive results, but most feel that ditching the taunts and dancing for a more focused approach would be the biggest change to make. Silva’s words probably mean that his “Sensei” Steven Seagal won’t be appearing at UFC 168.
In any case, Silva could see his legacy tarnished in just six short months after rolling over UFC competition for over six years. He’ll always be remembered as one of the greatest fighters to ever step into the Octagon, but he knows that he has to defeat Weidman to go down as the best.
Can he silence the critics and rebound strong?