Legendary Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva went down in a foolish blaze of clownery last night (July 6, 2013), losing to wrestling-minded Chris Weidman via knockout in round two of UFC 162 main event (shocking details here).
And his idol, boxing champion Roy Jones Jr. -- who knows all too well all the bad things that can happen when you play too much inside the ring -- was in attendance to take it all in (photo evidence here).
That's right, the greatest striker in mixed martial arts (MMA) history was knocked clean out by a wrestler with serviceable stand up and questionable power (perhaps no longer). It's not an indictment of Weidman -- he is a very talented, and still undefeated -- fighter.
But, there is no way on Earth he finishes that fight if Silva isn't acting like a complete jackass, juking, jiving and pandering to the crowd with antics that have in the past only added to his legacy and mystique.
Weidman -- at long last -- merely called his bluff with a lights out left hook as Silva practiced his crazy legs.
"I felt I was destined for this, but it still felt a little far-fetched. I've had to do it a million times in my head, but for it to actually happen, it still feels surreal," Weidman said in his post-fight speech. "He's unbeatable, the Bruce Lee of mixed martial arts. And thank God for giving me the power to do it."
And just how did Weidman prepare for Silva's tomfoolery?
His trainer, Ray Longo, apparently enlisted the services of several hotshots to impersonate Silva and, in the process, infuriate "All American."
"Ray Longo brought in guys who would play with me, do certain things to get the best of my head," Weidman revealed. "It pisses me off when someone tries to do that to me, so little by little I'm going to creep on him and when he's sleeping I'm going to get him. All respect to Anderson Silva -- I'd love to do a rematch if that's what he wants to do. He was an idol of mine. I didn't want to say it during camp, but I looked up to that guy for a long time."
Rematch? Of course that would seem logical, especially when Weidman promised him the opportunity before the 185-pound match was even booked and then re-enforced by UFC President Dana White in the build up to the championship showdown (details here).
But, it takes two to tango, and as of this writing, Silva is not looking to strut his stuff in front of Weidman anytime soon. "I worked hard for this fight," Silva said. "Chris Weidman is the best tonight. He is the new champion. Chris has my respect because Chris is the best now. Chris is the best -- I worked hard, but still he won. No [I do not want a rematch], Chris is the champion now. All the people tonight need to respect Chris, he is the best."
Perhaps something was lost in translation, with Silva not wanting to steal the spotlight from Weidman. It's also possible he still wasn't thinking straight thanks to his early nap on the Octagon floor.
Ringside announcer, Joe Rogan, however, pressed him for clarification.
"I don't fight anymore for the belt -- I changed my life now," he said. "I've had the belt for a long time now, I'm tired. Chris is the new champion. I'm not retiring -- I have 10 more fights. But, I don't fight for the belt anymore -- I'm tired."
Eleven title defenses in nearly seven years, including a 2,458-day title reign -- at the ripe old age of 38 -- would undoubtedly make any grown man "tired." But, if he's not retiring and he doesn't want to fight for the belt, one has to wonder what Silva has up his sleeve.