Spiders and Outsiders

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ncordless
4/20/09 1:24:52PM
by Jordan Breen (jbreen@sherdog.com)


17092
Anderson Silva fascinates me. He fascinates me now more than ever.

Since his metamorphosis into the human weapon in 2005, Silva has been largely a counterstriker whose penchant for brutality is only coaxed out through fighters who attempt to draw first blood, such as Chris Leben, Rich Franklin, Travis Lutter and so on. At this point, Silva's reputation is almost cancerous. Fighters are too hesitant to engage him without the most meticulous planning of every single body movement, which results in long periods of nothingness in the cage.

So, if I have a logical explanation for Silva’s last two throne defenses, why do I have a sense of wonder about Silva that hadn't existed for the better part of a decade I’ve been watching him? It isn't just his sudden turn from beloved MMA hero to enigmatic public enemy. It is the fact that this unfortunate transformation has coincided with his Roy Jones Jr. obsession.

Never mind the fact that Silva is obsessed with boxing a fighter who, however faded, is still a serious pugilist -- a fact that can't be trivialized (ask celebrated striker K.J. Noons, who was handled in a recent six-round boxing match against anonymous competition). Silva's fixation on Jones is an anachronism: Jones is nearly seven years past his prime, not a great draw outside of his faithful Floridian fans and the boxing world generally wants the former pound-for-pound king to bow out rather than embarrass himself by fighting onward. Silva's angling for Jones is clearly not based on prestige, unless Silva is akin to Hiroo Onoda in his avoidance of boxing news over the last six years.

Given Silva's opportunity to feasibly wipe out every serious challenger at middleweight, and take on challenges at 205 pounds, I find his desire to fight Jones truly fascinating. I don't find it fascinating for the potential fight itself, where I would expect Silva to be simply and soundly outboxed, out of his depth in the vastly different waters of the sweet science. It engrosses me partially because I can't rationalize it: With prestige not part of the equation, what is it about RJJ that is so magnetic and enchanting for Silva? That question has led me to fixate on the parallels between the two fighters and has left me wondering if Silva sees Jones as more of an idol than an opponent.

The similarities between their careers are arresting. Since Silva's reemergence following the Chonan debacle, his lone loss was a maligned disqualification to Yushin Okami for an illegal upkick. During Jones' rapid climb to pound-for-pound preeminence, his only loss came at the hands of Montell Griffin, a bout in which he was disqualified for indiscreetly hitting Griffin after having knocked him down.
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fizzle
4/20/09 1:45:52PM
I like Breen, his insights and observations are frequently level headed, well thought out, and usually right on the money. Breen has his own opinions as does everyone and they will never align perfectly for everyone, but I think he is the most knowledgeable person on the Sherdog Radio.
Jesse_Canadian_MMA
4/20/09 1:57:23PM
excellent post
submissionartist1
4/20/09 10:26:12PM
i think silva as a martial artist cannot attack an opponent whom does not wish to fight, i couldnt punch a guy with obviously less skill if he cowared under my strikes by pulling guard time after time , this is a silvas fault JOE SILVA
TimW001
4/20/09 10:41:29PM
Great read.
Drudinh
4/22/09 6:30:35AM

Posted by submissionartist1

i think silva as a martial artist cannot attack an opponent whom does not wish to fight, i couldnt punch a guy with obviously less skill if he cowared under my strikes by pulling guard time after time , this is a silvas fault JOE SILVA


I've been thinking this the whole time. and everyone getting behind leites and hyping him up
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