Sunday, March 2, 2008

UFC 82 Post-Fight Breakdown, Part 1

Dan Henderson Vs. Anderson Silva

Anderson Silva's striking gets more impressive with each fight, which seems like it should be impossible. He is continually praised for it, but after watching him, one can't help but point-out that he is just ridiculously good at hitting people. In each of his last seven fights, he has shown command over a different aspect of the stand-up game, making him the most well-rounded fighter facing elite-level competition today (note caveat.)

His feet, knees, and fists are almost always well-aimed and well-timed, so much so that he nearly makes it look easy, the true sign of transcendent skill. Dan Henderson is no slouch on his feet, but Silva made him look like an improvising brawler. His wild overhand rights and ill-timed bull rushes provided a stark contrast to Silva's viciously calculating muay thai game.

That said, Henderson inarguably won the first round, an impressive feat in its own right. Although he didn't do much damage, he controlled the pace and location of the fight and landed more shots than Silva. I doubt if anyone could smear Silva across the canvas for 25 minutes, but the strategy was working for the time being. Why Henderson chose to stand and trade with Silva in the second round is anybody's guess, but he clearly regretted the choice in his post-fight comments.

So where does Silva go from here? He has casually discussed changing weight classes or taking on a professional boxer, both poor options when there are still worthwhile challengers to Silva's crown. The only viable move at this point is for the UFC to import some talent, both for the sake of Silva's legacy and to shore-up the promotion's marshmallow-soft middleweight division. Fights against Yoshihiro Akiyama, Kazuo Misaki, Paulo Filho, and Robbie Lawler would solidify Silva's claim to pound-for-pound supremacy, and add needed credibility to the UFC middleweight title. In the meantime, Silva can answer any remaining questions by avenging losses to Yushin Okami and Ryo Chonan, who both reside in the UFC already.


jll2000 said...

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