UFC fanboys and fangirls, please let’s not get carried away following the joyous return of Anderson Silva.
The former UFC Middleweight Champion was declared the unanimous winner over Nick Diaz. And that’s awesome.
— Sky Sports (@SkySports) February 1, 2015
UFC is most definitely starved for stars these days, the kind of fighters that will get butts in chairs and money in pocket thanks to lots of buzz and excitement. How else to we justify the signing of CM Punk, of all people?]
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) January 28, 2015
But with the return of Anderson Silva, hopefully that embarrassing fanfare will die down a bit. Unfortunately, it looks like this bit of hype is already being replaced by something equally stupid.
Following Anderson Silva’s win over Nick Diaz, Weidman’s name began trending on Twitter. I’d hoped that it would be mainly related to the fact that an injury has forced him out of UFC 184. That event will be headlined by Rhonda Rousey.
But I also knew how whimsical fans can be when their favorite does good things. So I wasn’t too shocked by outright suggestions that when Chris Weidman heals from his injuries, a rematch between him and Anderson Silva has to happen.
This is the part where I put on my Adrian Balboa face and go, “No thanks.” For me, it’s enough that Anderson Silva crossed what had to be one heck of a mental hurdle to get back in the Octagon and fight again.
It’s more than enough that Silva won — I don’t even want to think about the psychological consequences for the Brazilian fighter (or UFC’s hype machine) had he lost.
But this is the height of asking for far too much way too soon!
As we all know, Silva’s leg experienced an ugly break during the highly-anticipated rematch at UFC 168. It took a lot of rehab to get the now 39-year-old Silva to a place where a comeback was remotely plausible.
Anderson Silva, even as the longest reigning champion in UFC history, is not in a position where that fight would make sense.
Personally, I’m on the fence about any future fights. Is it too much to ask that Anderson be allowed to walk away from the Octagon with the knowledge that he was able to do it “one more time”?
At present, Anderson Silva is ranked just under Weidman, which, of course, makes him a top contender for the Middleweight belt (perhaps more so than Vitor Belfort in the eyes of some). If Anderson Silva doesn’t retire, it would probably be best to start building towards a rematch through fights with other highly ranked contenders.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 1, 2015
Make no mistake: Silva vs. Weidman III will represent a far greater psychological hurdle than this fight against Diaz. To say things have gone badly for Anderson against Chris is an understatement.
Chris Weidman’s ill-timed injury may be seen as perfect timing for him to start rehabbing for a fight with Anderson Silva. And I say that’s only slightly less crazy than expecting a CM Punk to enjoy lengthy UFC career.
What do you think: Is the UFC quietly making way for another Anderson Silva vs. Chris Weidman match? Do you think Anderson Silva should retire or try to get the belt back?
[Image Credit: The Montana MMA]