Life, economics, politics, psychology, sociology, racism and other isms, law, history, journalism/media…all through the lens of sport.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mixed Martial Assinine - the ballad of Anderson Silva and the Diaz Brothers

To all my fellow MMA junkies, listen up and listen close: regardless of Anderson Silva's clear talent in the cage, and the fact that he truly is another level of fighter compared to many others competing around him, he is terrible for the sport.

Not just terrible. I'm talking bloody awful.

Mixed martial arts has fought for years to achieve, and now try to maintain, so form of legitimacy on the world stage as a sport in its own right. Fighters like current UFC welterweight champion, and arguably pound for pound the worlds best fighter, Georges St. Pierre have given immense amount of their time to help grow the sport. Owners like the Fertitta's and Zuffa, along with Dana White and Strikeforce owner Scott Coker, have risked immense amounts trying to grow the sport not just in North America, but as a worldwide entity, and have shown monstrous success. The UFC is one of, if not the fastest, growing sports brands in the world, and mixed martial arts is slowly but surely snuffing out boxing on the international stage, the the point where former IBF champion James Tonney has signed a contract with the UFC, and is currently slated to fight Randy Couture at UFC 118. The UFC rakes in billions a year, building off the star power of the Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, and Tito Ortiz's of the world. They grew this sport.

And Anderson Silva walks around like somehow he had something to do with it.

Anderson Silva is undeniably talented. Immensely so. His boxing and muay thai striking abilities are unrivalled, so much so that he even received an offer to box Floyd Mayweather. He is a sublime fighter, his skill level so high and so precise it has been coined "a symphony of violence". However his actions at UFC 112 against a world-class jit-jitsu practitioner in Demian Maia were inexcusable.

After completely dominating Maia in the first three minutes of the fight, Silva proceeded to humiliate his opponent, slapping the mat in disgust that the clearly overmatched standup fighter Maia would not engage Silva on his own terms. He danced around like a circus clown, embarassing an opponent who is a well respected fighter in the world. Worse yet, Anderson Silva did not think enough of his opponent, or the paying fans in the organizations first fight in Dubai, to even finish it. He danced for four more rounds, never engaging, never doing anything. When Maia went to the ground, Silva walked away - the dominant, arrogant powerhouse only so brave to dance and mock when the fight is on his terms.

Anderson Silva made mixed martial arts look like a dog and pony show. Demian Maia, broken nose and with one eye swollen shut, could have not answered the bell, knowing so long as the fight was standing up he had next to no hope to win, but he got up like a man, like a warrior.

Anderson Silva is none of those things. Only brave when in his comfort zone, only a champion when he chooses to be, only a fighter when he gets to choose the weapons. Dana White was completely justified in his post-fight comments, and for refusing to present the belt to Silva following the victory.

He is slated to fight Chael Sonnen at UFC 117 this summer. If he can't come out and fight this time, regardless of the outcome he should be cut by the UFC. Dana knows this too.

As far as the Diaz brothers go, their antics after the post-fight interview of the Shields fight were ridiculous. I've long said that they are both nothing more than a couple of ghetto rats who are big and tough in numbers, but can't fight for crap in the cage. Nothing by a pack of hyenas. The fact that they, along with the rest of their Cesar Gracie camp teammates, decided to launch a 7 on 1 mugging of Jason Miller for what may have been a tasteless, but nonetheless funny and not totally surprising, interruption of an interview then they don't belong in MMA either.

I won't give them more time than that. Frankly, they're not good enough fighters for me to give them another word.

1 comment:

  1. I think there's a "bush league" problem if there's no unsportsmanlike conduct discipline in their book. As long as the guy didn't break any rules, the belt should have been presented. If discipline was to be assessed, there should be a proper, professional process to it.

    If there isn't, or if Dana White "just didn't wanna" because he was all upset about it, then his behaviour is just as unprofessional.

    Address your athlete like the man you want him to fight like - hey Mr. White, discipline him if it's warranted, or shut up and put the belt around his waist, and don't insult him by putting inferior competition in the right, or insult the fans by staging a farce of a fight and taking their hard-earned money to watch it.

    I've seen fighters who can't stand up and do everything to get a guy down on the canvass. If Silva is more comfortable standing up, there's no shame for him, any more than the guy getting his butt kicked until he sneaks a submission in because his assailant got tired after beating him up.