An Open Letter to Anderson Silva, Post UFC 112

Sunday, April 11th, 2010 by Tony Reid

Anderson Silva

Dear Anderson,

Let me first state that, in my opinion, you are the greatest Mixed Martial Artist of this and possibly any era.  The body of work you have created to this point in your career paired with all of the potential you have, before its all said and done, could have your name at the top of everyone’s list of all time greatest fighters.

But after watching your fight against Demian Maia last night I felt compelled to write to you.  No matter what your line of work, you know you’ve had an off night when the first words out of your boss’s mouth after you most recent performance are something to the effect of he is more upset than he has been in the last ten years…especially knowing your boss.  I guess my confusion stems from the fact that you seem like such a gentleman, so respectful, almost too respectful in all aspects leading up to a fight, yet you seemed to abandon that as soon as the bell rang.

Some of the garbage that turned myself and many fans away from other sports (like boxing) are the same things you exhibited last night, the outright lack of respect for your opponent, the over-the-top showboating, the trash talking, and most importantly, the lack of substance.  Those arrogant traits are commonly found in other sports, not in the Martial Arts or Mixed Martial Arts specifically, and that’s what we find refreshing; please don’t bring them into the sport we love.  We, the fans, were collectively disappointed with the Cote and Leites Fights but, after time, we excused those performances for various reasons, but this was different.  Your actions were so over the top and out of line that they shed you in a whole different light. If you are so much better than your opponent (and you most assuredly are) then by all means, end the fight as fast as possible!  Very few fans would argue with that outcome.  But you chose to goat, taunt, and even yell and gesture at Maia to engage with you.  There was one point in the fight that almost seemed surreal where you were just standing there talking to each other…for what?  You are locked in a cage with him for God’s sake, hit him!

I would be the first person to come to any fighter’s defense if they were being criticized for showing a little personality, a little style, or individuality, but at some point that needs to be backed up by action.   We know you take the first minute of a fight to feel out your opponent but please do something in the next 24 minutes!  We as fans have come to expect so much from you because we know what you are capable of…we have witnessed it time and again in the Octagon.  I, in no way, intend to be disrespectful I just want to voice the frustrations that many fans are feeling today.

 

Much Respect,

Tony Reid