Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva had two chances to defeat new 185-pound kingpin Chris Weidman. First, as champion in the main event of UFC 162. Then again as challenger, in the UFC 168 headliner.
And both times, he failed.
Whether you blame those "Spider" losses on shenanigans and freak accidents, or the skill set of "All American," makes no difference. At the end of the day, the record books reflect two consecutive defeats and according to coach Ray Longo (via MMA Junkie), it's time to man up and move on.
Silva's legacy, he argues, could depend on it.
"I just think he got dominated in both fights, and definitely doesn't deserve anywhere near a third fight, in my opinion. I think these guys just aren't in touch with reality, and they have to learn how to lose properly and grow from your losses, and move on - instead of making excuses. Earn your way back up, correct your mistakes. That's what really being a champion is. One win or loss doesn't make a champion, but certainly making excuses isn't being a champion, either. I would think it's a lot of Oxycontins talking. [Silva is] on a lot of pain meds, and he's delirious -- that would be my first gut feeling. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Me personally, (Silva is) going to have to earn his way back up, and maybe by the time he's 45, we'll be waiting for him. I think the guy deserves a legacy. I really hope he takes a higher ground and just admits that the kid beat him, fair and square, twice, and go on and live with all your accolades. I think it's going to diminish his legacy if he keeps making excuses, because I don't think that's what a champion should do."
SIlva, in his defense, is on unfamiliar ground.
After ruling the 185-pound roost for nearly eight years, the Brazilian was knocked clean out by Weidman over the Fourth of July Weekend. In his very next fight, he shattered his leg in two places (pics) and was forced to undergo emergency surgery.
With no fight ahead of him, he's had nothing to do but sit on the couch and think (and pop pain pills).
Whether those pills were behind the comments Silva made about Weidman not winning (read them here) is unknown, but early forecasts have "The Spider" returning to the Octagon in late 2014 or early 2015. But will these two ever cross paths again?
Time will tell.