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Silva's shocking loss hurts UFC
Anderson Silva didn’t do anything different at UFC 162.
He showboated. He taunted. He played head games.
The only the difference was for the first time in his UFC career Silva lost as Chris Weidman caught him with a solid left to the chin in the second round of the middleweight title fight at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.
“This is not the first time I have lost in my life,” Silva said through an interpreter in the post-fight news conference. “Win or lose, you have to fight out there. You never go out there to lose. You always want to win. The best fighters in the world are in the UFC, and (Weidman) is one of them.”
The conspiracy theories were rampant in the moments after Silva’s overall win streak (16 fights) and title defense streak (10) — both UFC records — were snapped as he lay flat on his back. UFC president Dana White vociferously rebutted any notions that Silva threw the fight.
“That's the stupidest (expletive) thing I've ever heard in my life,” White said.
This fight was more about complacency than conspiracy. Silva plainly let down his guard as Weidman inched closer for the knockout blow.
Other than the instant shock of a loss by arguably the greatest fighter the sport has ever known, there wasn't a ton to be gained by Silva or the UFC with what transpired Saturday. The loss means Silva will not be involved in any so-called “Super Fight” — either against Georges St-Pierre or Jon Jones.
“I told Jon Jones, ‘You lost a zillion dollars tonight. Congratulations.’” White said. “Jones is bummed.”
And this rumored fight with former boxing champ Roy Jones Jr., who was a guest of White’s at UFC 162?
“That’s another Jones that’s pretty bummed out,” White said.
It also cost Silva his flawless record and the mythical pound-for-pound title. Brazil, where Silva was reaching Pele status, was stunned. Some people in his corner were crying.
“I told them there was no reason to cry,” Silva said. “I told them to relax. Their work was done. Once a fighter goes in there, the trainer can’t do anything.”
This was the first fight of a 10-fight deal for Silva. The next fight seems straightforward enough: a rematch with Weidman. White said that’s all but certain, even if Silva didn’t sound overly enthused about fighting Weidman again.
“Really, right now, I’m thinking going home,” said Silva, whose last loss came by disqualification in January 2006 with another promotion. “I want to be with my kids. I want to take some time off, maybe three to four months off to think about what I’m going to do.”
White’s immediate response: “I think that’s fair, and I respect that.”
White expects that the competitor inside Silva will soon be hungry to reclaim the middleweight crown — even if Silva seemed to hint that the belt had become a burden.
“Some of that is probably true, but nobody wants to lose,” White said. “He doesn’t know how to lose. He doesn’t remember how to lose. This one is going to sink in in a couple days. The first thing I heard when I walked (into the news conference) is that there’s a fix. That’s going to drive somebody crazy.”
Anderson is 38, the age where fighters begin, or are already well into, slowing down. Saturday’s loss was more about cockiness than age, something that won’t likely be there in such heavy doses in a rematch.
“I think you’re going to see a more serious Anderson Silva,” White said. “I think it’s going to be completely different fight.”
And maybe a different — and more motivated — Silva.