Sometimes, even the best of us make mistakes.
Case in point: Anderson Silva. For seven epic years, and over the course of 16 consecutive Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) wins, Silva was "The Man" in mixed martial arts (MMA). He had it all: money, fame, a peerless legacy, and the UFC middleweight championship.
Then, at UFC 162, all that changed thanks to a no-nonsense left hook thrown by a then 9-0 upstart named Chris Weidman. Whether it was his well-documented penchant for showboating finally catching up with him, or if Father Time had done a number on the 38 year-old "Spider," the fact remains Silva got KTFO by Weidman and lost the belt he helped make famous.
Just weeks ahead of a rematch against Weidman, scheduled for UFC 168 on Dec. 28, 2013 at Las Vegas, Nevada's MGM Grand Garden Arena, Silva has decided to make public his thoughts on why the New Yorker got the better of him the first time around (From the Brazilian outlet Sportv and translated via MMAFighting.com):
My mistakes in that fight, and that’s the first time I’m saying this, were basic mistakes. I did everything I had to do except hit him. I didn’t counterattack. When I stopped with my feet parallel, I should have hit him and walked one step behind. I didn’t do that. I saw my mistakes and I’m working on that to train for this next fight.
That's right folks, Silva believes he was defeated by Weidman because he didn't throw enough strikes standing. Which kind of makes sense if you think about it, since a big part of winning a stand-up battle, after all, involves actually hitting your opponent.
Seen in that light, Silva saying "I did everything I had to do except hit him" is a lot like a baseball player who struck out during a crucial ninth inning at bat when his team was down one run later explaining to the media, "I did everything I had to do except make contact with the ball."
The question remains, however, just what version of Silva is going to show up against Weidman at UFC 168?
Will he be, as he promised back in August, a new and improved Anderson Silva who will be looking to make a statement against Weidman? Or, was Silva's inability to execute at UFC 162 a sign that the ravages of an over-13 year career have finally caught up with the middle-aged icon?
Whatever the case may be, we'll find out the answer soon enough at UFC 168.