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Posted by mmaplayground Sunday, April 26, 2009 12:00 AM



Submitted by The Karate Choppin Ninja

Pound for pound champ? Best stand up in MMA of any top fighter? Serious Killer instinct? Well rounded? Brutal in the clinch? Cleaned out a division? So good he could move up a weight class and take that title? All these claims were made by MMA fans on a regular basis about Anderson Silva, before his lackluster victory over Patrick Cote. Now I can't say these things aloud without a questioning tone in my voice. The only one of these that seemed to previously be in serious doubt with any significant number of MMA fans ,was Pound for pound, and that's a debate that can never truly be won by anyone anyway. Then came the inexplicable performance against Cote. Was it because he was bored with MMA? Was he mad at the UFC for not letting him box? Did he fear Cotes punching power? Was he just getting too full of himself, and now showing off? Was Anderson trying to protect, or hide, a pre-existing injury? Did he break a hand on Cote's noggin, in one of the few brief exchanges early in the fight? Was he afraid to chase (an obviously hoping to counter) Cote? I have seen all these theories floated out since the Cote fight. All could have been forgotten with a dominant victory over Thales Leites. A fighter many thought hadn't even earned the right to fight Anderson for the title. Yes, I believe the lack of action was even more the fault of Leites, but I also believe Anderson had many chances to finish this fight and that his aggression has been blunted lately. Instead, more theories are added to the previous ones, and a previous theory seemed to gain more weight. Maybe he really is bored with MMA? He did mention retiring when his current contract expired with the UFC in a highly publicized article. Want some of the new theories making the rounds? Is he more afraid of losing than winning? He hasn't shown the same killer instinct he had in earlier fights. Has idolizing Roy Jones boxing made him into a style over substance fighter? He does seem to be doing a lot more of what some people might call showboating. Is he now afraid of injury, and just wants to fight more cautiously? It's hard to blame a guy for wanting to protect his health & longevity, but no one is going to be clamoring for him as a PPV draw if this continues. Heres why I think Anderson's previously aggressive nature has taken a wrong turn. Could it actually be that the impetus of Anderson Silvas current fighting style is....... LYOTO MACHIDA!

Yep, the guy some of us love, a lot of us love to hate, and all of us know is a very hard man to beat. Machida, the man who can win a 3 round fight, landing 15 counters, and never be hit with a serious blow. They do train together, and maybe he even gives Anderson fits when they do so, but this is not what most of us want to see. If anybody in his camp could give Anderson fits, I would bet Lyoto's the guy. People who train especially admire Machida's ability to avoid damage while winning a round, but not many people are clamoring for him to be pound for pound champ are they? How many people want to see Machida headline cards? Not a lot from what I see, hear, and read. Those of us who are also a fan of boxing will see the Winky Wright comparison immediately. Great defensive fighter, and technically proficient, but kinda boring as well to most. Yes some purist of "the sweet science" will rave about Winky. However most people want to see a hardcore showdown, not a non violent chess match. No cerebral slap fight is going to make fans brim over with anticipation for a card. Machida has shown a willingness to finish more lately, so maybe they are rubbing off on each other. That killer instinct that Anderson seems to be missing lately is what put him in the pound for pound conversation, and what made him a top PPV draw. So if this is the problem, it seems Lyoto is getting the better end of the deal. Lets be honest with ourselves. How many of us are praying Rashad Evans demolishes Machida? If Evans wins we won't be subjected to the years of safe, carefully instituted matches, that would probably happen in a extended Machida title reign. Do we admire the ability Machida has shown? We absolutely should. He is undefeated and to my knowledge has never backed away from a opponent. Nor should he. The Machidas and Winky Wright's of the world are the guys that champions, with a reputation for putting on a good show, don't want to fight. No champ wants to spend a entire contest chasing someone until they get frustratingly outpointed, or even worse, get so frustrated chasing someone you leave yourself open to a fight-ending mistake. Isn't aggression and Octagon control a fight judging criteria? Somehow I just feel Machida makes a mockery of this rule.

This is mixed martial arts, not a gentleman's Marquess of Queensbury match. The reason behind it is to simulate a street fight as closely as possible, without anyone actually getting maimed or killed. We don't want a standing 8 count, we don't want to see a guy let up on his opponent, and inquire after his state of well being. We want to see a fighter finish when his opponent is hurt. We want to see a fighter immediately follow his opponent to the ground after he scores a knock down, and finish him until the ref pulls him off, he's submits, or we know he's unconscious. I don't know about you, but when I've gotten in fights there was only 3 ways to get me to stop hurting the other guy. He needed to be unconscious, begging me to stop, or running away with there being no chance of me catching him. Some may call me bloodthirsty or barbaric. Some may say I am one of those who really wants "human cockfighting". I don't care what those who don't know me think. I admire the honor with which most professional fighters treat their fallen foes, but AFTER the fight is over. I want to see a fight, and I want to believe in my mind that there is a clear victor. I want to see the "warrior spirit" on display. I am not talking about a brawl like Frye vs Takayama, although it's still a blast to see. I'm talking little Nog vs Shogun, Griffin vs Edgar, Big Nog vs Barnett, Fedor vs Crocop, Hughes vs Penn 2, Couture vs Rizzo 1, Melendez vs Kawajiri . A lot of skill shown? Absolutely, but in all of these fight both participants came with the mentality of a warrior. I have heard many arguments against Chuck Liddel and Wanderlei Silva as fighters lately. The game has passed them by some say. They haven't evolved others trumpet. Maybe, but they always came to fight. You never doubted they were not only trying to win, but finish. That's why their long anticipated fight actually lived up to the hype. I believe Anderson far outshines either as a technical fighter, but who would you rather see fight now? 6 months ago I would have said Anderson, and I am a big fan of Chuck and Wandy's fights. Now, I would take Chuck or Wandy any day, win or lose. Anderson has showed that warrior spirit, killer instinct, and the amazing skill to be a legend, in the recent past. Now i just see a lot of skill and too much caution for my taste. Never forget it was the first Forrest Griffin vs Stepen Bonnar fight that launched MMA into the mainstream in most of the world. Both nice fighters, and both have improved technically since. However neither was anywhere near Andersons skill level on that night, and probably never will be. What did they bring to the fight? Heart, will and a desire to honorably give it everything they had to finish their opponent. What is that called? To me it's the definition of the warrior spirit. I would rather see that fight, than any fight Machida has ever had.

Maybe I am just grasping at straws to explain Anderson's new attitude in the cage, and no, I have no inside information to prove this theory. Just my own eyes, and a bewildered sense of being cheated by the new Anderson. So this goes out to you Anderson, in the hopes that if enough of us keep talking about it, you will actually return to being the beast we all believed you to be. Don't pattern yourself after Machida. He is a truly talented and gifted fighter, but very few MMA fans actually love watching him fight. If you want to pattern yourself after a fighter who shows not only skill, but combines that skill with the warrior spirit we all had come to expect from you, try Fedor. Better yet lets see the guy who finished Franklin, Marquardt, and Henderson. All inside of 2 rounds: back-to-back-to back.Lets see you be the guy you used to be-again.
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