Former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva won a controversial decision over Derek Brunson at UFC 208, which marked Silva’s first official win since 2012. However, many fans, as well as fighters, were surprised that he got his hand raised. Although he said after the bout that he is an old man, he insisted that he’ll continue to fight because it’s in his heart.
Current UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping gave his thoughts on Silva during his SiriusXM radio show on Thursday. He voiced his concern that Silva is letting down as well as disrespecting fans who pay to watch him by fighting without being able to finish his opponents anymore.
“What Anderson was doing was just kind of stalking him down and not doing anything. He was kind of disrespecting everybody there, disrespecting his opponent. At the time he grabbed the Thai clinch on Derek Brunson, had the Thai clinch, but didn’t do anything. Didn’t throw an elbow, certainly didn’t throw a knee and he allowed Brunson to just tee off with like 10-, 15-punch combinations to Anderson Silva whilst Anderson just held him. It was just bizarre, and I’m watching this thinking, ‘Anderson’s gonna get knocked out because he’s holding onto this stupid, dumb Thai clinch.’ The one time – or the couple of times – where Anderson actually threw something, Brunson turned around and literally ran away from him. You could see he was a little intimidated, he was a little bewildered, he didn’t know quite what to do. All in all, you could see that Anderson was the better fighter, but he just didn’t pull the trigger. He didn’t pull the trigger at all. People were booing in the audience, people were annoyed, people were pissed off. They paid to watch the fantastic Anderson Silva, and he just wasn’t delivering.”
This isn’t the first time that Silva has been critiqued for delivering lackluster performance. Examples of that include his fights with Thales Leites and Demian Maia. Silva, at the height of his popularity, was finishing folks, but after Silva’s performance during his fight with Maia, UFC President Dana White even threatened to cut Silva if he continued to “dance” versus opponents.
Bisping believes that Silva’s magic isn’t showing up anymore and that it is jeopardizing his legacy as the greatest fighter of all-time.
“I’m not trying to kick a man while he’s down, I’m really not. I bought the pay-per-view to watch Anderson Silva. Regardless of what’s happened between the two of us, I’m a fan of Anderson Silva, and he still always brings that excitement. Even still, right up until the final bell of the 15 minutes fight you still thought, ‘Hold on, is he gonna pull something amazing out of the bag?’ But he didn’t and what he did was, he allowed Brunson to outwork him so when he went to a decision, everybody thought Derek Brunson was gonna get the decision. Of course, it went to Anderson Silva which was shocking, and I guess maybe you could see an argument for Anderson winning rounds one and two, but it was just a bizarre performance and his legacy is slowly turning into that of somebody that’s – well he’s tarnishing his legacy. Let’s put it like that.”
You can listen to Bisping’s comments here: