While many fans think that Anderson Silva’s knockout loss to Chris Weidman at UFC 162 was just a fluke attributed to excessive showboating, there are those that believe that ‘The Spider’s’ reign at the top has legitimately ended.
We’ll find out what side of the story is indeed true when the two rematch at the year-ending UFC 168. Early odds have Silva as the favorite at around 2-to-1 and even he has proclaimed that he’s back. Most believe that Silva will return re-motivated and reclaim the belt that is rightfully his.
However, one man thinks that just the opposite is true, and even though he may be biased, he may also have a good point. Weidman’s trainer Ray Longo told MMA Weekly’s Shameless Radio that Silva’s recent loss, coupled with his age, will again spell doom for the former champion:
"This guy (Silva) had a highlight reel that would scare the crap out of anybody. Now, knowing that he (Weidman) can knock this guy out -- you've seen it in boxing a hundred times, guys don't come back from that type of knockout. On top of that, the guy is 40 or 39 or whatever he is. I don't see it. I think Weidman is going to go in more confident than he was in the first fight. He knows what to expect with all the mugging and all the antics. I think it is really going to be a bad night for Anderson Silva again."
It is true that we see fighters take one bad KO loss and never be the same again. Chuck Liddell’s loss to Rampage Jackson in 2007 probably serves as the best example of this happening in the UFC.
In this case though, Anderson Silva has been a sort of anomaly within the octagon at 38-years old because we’ve never really seen him take too much damage. The punch from Weidman was the first time we’ve ever seen him hit that hard cleanly. So it’s tough to say how he returns from such a devastating KO.
But it may have been much more psychologically damaging than physically for Silva, as he got punished for the clowning that garnered him so many impressive wins in the past. There’s no doubt that Silva is a career crossroads right now. Can he return with a vengeance and regain his coveted title belt?
Outer Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea of USA Today Sports Images