Posts Tagged ‘Anderson Silva’

Experts’ predictions for UFC 153

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Anderson Silva (left) is a lopsided favorite to defeat Stephan Bonnar in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

SI.com analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 153 on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar

DOYLE: I’m tempted to go with Bonnar simply because this would fit right into the UFC’s 2012 “whatever can go wrong, will” theme. But a Bonnar victory is a bridge too far. Silva by KO.

HUNT: Knowing my colleagues will cover the bases, I’ll cut to the chase: it’s a mismatch. Silva by TKO.

WAGENHEIM: Bonnar is going to shock the world … by surviving the first round. He’s rugged and resilient, having never been knocked out. And Silva will not be done putting on a show for his countrymen by the end of one act. But eventually … Silva by KO.

WERTHEIM: We can debate whether Silva is the G.O.A.T., but Bonnar is not going to change the discussion. Just two completely different tiers of fighter. Admire Bonnar’s sensibilities, his heart, his role in growing the UFC brand by virtue of that TUF finale. But in no universe does he win this fight. Silva by TKO.

Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman

DOYLE: The veteran Nogueira’s UFC fights have followed a familiar pattern: Losses to the elite and wins over the guys just a cut below. Herman falls into the latter camp. Nogueira by TKO.

HUNT: Big Nog has this one in the bag as long as it goes to the canvas, which is likely. Nogueira by submission.

WAGENHEIM: How’s the arm, Big Nog? We’ll find out if there are any lingering issues when the ref raises the rehabbed wing after Nogueira taps out Pee-Wee. Nogueira by submission.

WERTHEIM: When we last saw Big Nog, Frank Mir was nearly divorcing his arm from the rest of his body, his third loss in five fights. The UFC threw him a bone, pitting him against Herman, a beatable fighter. On a two-fight losing streak. In Rio. Nogueira by submission.
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  • Published On Oct 12, 2012
  • Dana White hints at superfight between Anderson Silva, Georges St-Pierre

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    When Cowboys Stadium opened three years ago, Jerry Jones envisioned it as a grand showcase for champions. That’s a promise still unfulfilled by his NFL team, which has but one wild-card win in the $1.3 billion facility and missed the playoffs the last two seasons. But the domed stadium in Arlington, Texas, might very well soon have championships on display. Two of them.

    Anderson Silva and Georges St-Pierre, the UFC champs at middleweight and welterweight, respectively, appear headed on a collision course deep in the heart of Texas.

    Nothing is official, and nothing will be until after St-Pierre makes his return from knee surgery and fights Carlos Condit at UFC 154 on Nov. 17 in Montreal. But UFC president Dana White acknowledged on Tuesday night that if GSP handles business against Condit, a superfight with Silva likely would be next.

    “These guys want to fight each other now,” White said during an extended interview on the Fuel TV show UFC Tonight. “If you’re a fighter and you’ve dominated as long as Anderson has, and you’ve been great as long as Georges has, you finally want to say, ‘I want to test myself. I think I can beat this guy.’”

    Though Silva vs. St-Pierre is hypothetical at this point, White has given the matter enough thought to specify that the champions of his 185- and 170-pound weight classes would meet somewhere in the middle, likely at 180 pounds, and that the fight would take place at Cowboys Stadium. The facility seats 80,000 for football but has a capacity of 110,000, including standing room. A 2010 boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Joshua Clottey drew 51,000.

    Silva (32-4) is coming off a July TKO win over Chael Sonnen, his 16th straight victory and 10th title defense. St-Pierre (22-2) has won nine straight and defended his belt six times, but has not fought since an April 2011 unanimous decision over Jake Shields. He was training for a Condit fight when he injured his knee last December, requiring surgery.

    So GSP is going from sitting on the shelf to jumping into perhaps the biggest fight in UFC history? Said White, “I think we’re pretty close.”

    –Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Sep 05, 2012
  • Silva suddenly rooting against Jones? OK, it’s not much … but it’s a start

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    Jon Jones (left) and Anderson Silva are friends, but Silva will root against Jones at UFC 152. [Jason Merritt/Getty Images]

    So we’re finally going to see Anderson Silva going against Jon Jones.

    No, the UFC middleweight and light heavyweight champions, the No. 1 and No. 2 fighters in every mixed martial arts pound-for-pound ranking outside of Georges St-Pierre’s parents’ house, have not agreed to square off inside the octagon. They doused the rising fan groundswell for a superfight a couple of months ago by basically walking arm-in-arm singing “You’ve Got a Friend” in two-part harmony.

    But while “Bones” is too close of a friend for Silva to fight, Jon is apparently not so tight of an amigo that “The Spider” refuses to root against the guy. Amigo is “friend” in Portuguese, which is the language of Brazil, where Silva is from. And where Jones’ next opponent, Vitor Belfort, is from.

    “As a Brazilian, I’ll be rooting for the Brazilian, even though I have a very good friendship with Jon Jones,” Silva said when asked about the UFC 152 title fight during an appearance on the Brazilian television show Bem, Amigos! (there’s that “friend” word again) earlier this week. “Whenever I’m with [Jones], I ask him to conduct his career in a different way, because he is very young and is always asking me something. But I’ll be rooting for Brazil, yes. May the best man win, but I’m rooting for Brazil.”

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  • Published On Aug 30, 2012
  • Chris Weidman makes a statement with elbows, words at UFC on Fuel TV 4

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    Chris Weidman (above) derailed Mark Munoz’s hopes for a title shot against Anderson Silva on Wednesday night in San Jose, Calif. (Ezra Shaw/Zuffa LLC)

    Nice 1-2 punch by Chris Weidman.

    The “1” was not actually a punch but an elbow, which connected to the head of Mark Muñoz and crumbled him in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV 4 on Wednesday night in San Jose, Calif. What a knockout blow. It knocked Muñoz out of the fight (at 1:37 of the second round, after Weidman had followed his fallen opponent to the mat and unleashed a finishing flurry that really wasn’t needed), out of the No. 1 contender position in the middleweight division and out of a presumed matchup with champion Anderson Silva.

    That brings us to the “2,” which also was not a punch. It was a verbal challenge. “I want Anderson Silva,” Weidman (9-0) said afterward in the cage. “Every single time I’ve had a full training camp, I’ve gotten a finish. Give me a full training camp, and I’d love a shot at the man.”

    Talk about seizing the moment. Weidman seized Muñoz’s — Mark was expected to be next in line for Silva, since he had been slated for a No. 1 contender’s showdown with Chael Sonnen back in January before injuring an elbow — and then the unbeaten New Yorker seized his own with the respectful but no-nonsense challenge.

    It wasn’t merely the victory that allowed Weidman to step to the front of the line. It was the way he won. He came into this fight as an underdog — although no one with any sense was counting him out because, well, we’d never seen him lose. But the thinking was that the title shot was Muñoz’s for the taking, and if he didn’t snatch it up, then guys like Michael Bisping and Alan Belcher would lay claim to it. But Bisping is coming off a loss and Belcher is no more high-profile a fighter than Weidman, and he doesn’t have the kind of signature win that Weidman authored on Wednesday night.

    How’d it happen? Once again, we were taught the enduring lesson of the octagon: Wrestling is different from MMA wrestling. Weidman was an All-American at Hofstra but his singlet credentials don’t measure up to those of Muñoz, who was the 2001 NCAA Division I champion at 197 pounds. On those wrestling mats, however, you can go for a takedown without worrying about a punch, knee or kick to the face. And it was within that context that Weidman seized control, getting a takedown in the bout’s first minute, then threatening Muñoz with submissions and punishing him with fists while the fighters were on the ground. Weidman also began the second round with a quick takedown. And when Muñoz got the fight back to standing and tried to change the momentum with a looping overhand right, Weidman was quicker to the punch. I mean, the elbow.

    It was Weidman’s moment to shine. And to think about the shiny brass-and-leather belt that’s long been in the possession of Anderson Silva. “My takedowns are pretty good,” he said. “I’ll get him down, and I think, I really do believe, that I can submit him.”

    That’s the kind of confidence you can pull off convincingly when you’ve never lost.

    –Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Jul 12, 2012
  • Five things we learned from UFC 148

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    Anderson Silva pounced on Chael Sonnen in Round 2 in moving to 30-4. (Mark J. Rebilas/US PRESSWIRE)

    Five things we learned from Anderson Silva’s second-round TKO victory over Chael Sonnen in Saturday’s rematch at the MGM Grand Garden Arena …

    1. A slip turned this fight around. The Chael Sonnen-Anderson Silva rematch started a lot like their first fight. Sonnen dominated the first round and was even in a good position for the last minute but couldn’t get a submission in. Things changed in the second: Silva blocked a few tough takedown attempts, Sonnen attempted a spinning kick – and slipped. It was over. Silva pounced, hit him with a killer knee to the body. That did enough damage; Silva didn’t let up, ending it with a TKO in the 1:55 of round two.

    2. Silva is in the discussion for the best mixed martial artist ever. Silva’s last win over Sonnen wasn’t a fluke, but he was dominated before winning on the late submission. This time Silva didn’t let it get that far. He had one small opening after Sonnen’s slip and essentially ended it there. He’s defended his title 10 times, a UFC record. The man hasn’t lost since a DQ in 2006 in Japan. He’s nearly unstoppable.

    3. Tito Ortiz lost, but went out like a Hall of Famer. It looked like Tito Ortiz might get a KO in his final round. He felled Forrest Griffin early in the third with a killer left hook — “I was lost for a second,” Griffin said — but Griffin rolled through after the punch and came on late in the third round to win a unanimous 29-28 decision in their rubber match.

    The crowd booed the decision, but Griffin landed way more strikes — even if Ortiz hit the highlight-reel punches. Ortiz was clearly gassed in the final two minutes of the fight and Griffin probably cemented his victory there even though he wasn’t able to put him away at the end.

    4. UFC delivered on the undercard. The UFC promoted this card like the second coming. Chael Sonnen called it “the biggest fight of all time.” Joe Rogan sounded like Gorilla Monsoon plugging the pay-per-view beforehand: “When I tell you that the air here is electric, I am not kidding. This has been the craziest week in Vegas… The weigh-in yesterday was the biggest weigh-in in Nevada combat sports history.”

    Counting the preliminary card, the first six fights went the distance. And then things picked up: Chad Mendes countered a Cody McKenzie kick with a killer body shot, ending it in 31 seconds. Then Demian Maia got in a good position on Dong Hyun Kim and broke his rib with a takedown 47 seconds in. Forty-year-old Cung Le getting his first UFC win kept things rolling before the co-main event. The early-arrving crowd was into everything, too, building a great atmosphere.

    The most fun extracurricular was after the Griffin-Ortiz fight: Griffin attempted to run to the back immediately after his fight ended, and Dana White chased after him until he was able to drag him back to the ring. There was something for everyone!

    5. Sometimes, watching UFC can hurt. The pre-PPV card was an all-decision affair. Fans even chanted “boring.” But there was a little action: John Alessio got kicked below the belt.

    Alessio took the worst of quite a few low blows on the night. There was a short delay while he recovered, but Alessio still went the distance, losing by unanimous decision to Shane Roller. That kick had to feel worse, though.

    – Dan McQuade


  • Published On Jul 08, 2012
  • Experts’ predictions for Anderson Silva-Chael Sonnen II at UFC 148

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    Chael Sonnen dominated Anderson Silva in their last fight, but in the end lost by submission. (Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE)

    SI.com analysts Ben Fowlkes, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 148 main event between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen on Saturday in Las Vegas. Share your prediction in the comments below.

    BEN FOWLKES

    Like any rematch between two men have already spent nearly a half-hour sweating and bleeding on each other, this fight is all about adjustments. If Sonnen can take Silva down as easily as he did in the first fight, he’s got this. If Silva has gone back to the lab and figured out a solution for that particular problem, it will be a nightmare for Sonnen. Since we saw so very little in the first fight to suggest that Silva can stay upright, I have to think Sonnen will be able to plant him on his back again in the rematch. This time, I expect he’ll make the most of it. Sonnen by decision.

    JEFF WAGENHEIM

    Family vacation at the lake this week, and all I do is sit in the sun and vacillate, my mind off in the Nevada desert. My son invites me for a swim, and I announce, “Silva is the greatest of all time!” My daughter asks for ice cream, and I declare, “Sonnen has the winning formula!” On and on goes the dithering, until my wife finally zeroes in on the essence: “How can someone pick against Anderson Silva, his 15 straight wins and nine title defenses?” My answer: You go by what you see … or have seen. Sonnen by takedowns, ground-and-pound and — taking a leap of faith that Chael has developed a little submission defense — on points. Sonnen by decision.

    JON WERTHEIM

    Sometimes playing the heel is just so much marketing, a way to goose pay-per-view buys, draw attention and set up the good-versus-evil dynamic that predates sport promotion by thousands of years. Sometimes playing the heel is a shrewd bit of mental warfare, that, prepositionally speaking, gets you under an opponent’s skin and inside his head, making emotional rather than rational come fight night. And sometimes playing the heel can backfire, not only imbuing your counterpart with motivation but distracting the “bad guy” himself who’s so busy with method acting he neglects his training. Says here Anderson Silva avenges his last (narrow) victory against Chael Sonnen and wins soundly in the rematch. He’s simply better on too many dimensions. The storyline will have a superhero ring to it, good trumping bad; afterwards the defeated villain may even admit the error in his ways. (“Anderson won my respect tonight,” you almost hear Sonnen already admitting to Joe Rogen.) All will be right with the world. We’ve seen this movie before. But we will also wonder what the fight would have looked like had Sonnen simply kept his mouth shut and gone about his job … Silva by decision.


  • Published On Jul 06, 2012
  • Will Silva’s bite live up to his bark?

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    Anderson Silva

    Anderson Silva earned a fifth-round submission of Chael Sonnen during their first meeting back in August 2010. (Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

    Chael Sonnen had to have been smiling on his end of the phone line.

    Isn’t the whole point of trash talking to get your opponent off his game? Yet for the nearly two years since he came closer than anyone in the UFC to beating Anderson Silva, as he threw every insult from “absolute fraud” to “dirtbag” at the middleweight champion, he saw not the slightest crack in the armor. Even after a rematch was announced and Chael ramped up his antagonism, “The Spider” remained hazily soft-spoken, his affect teetering between blasé and bored. That had to be killing Sonnen.

    Until Monday afternoon, that is, when a whole different Silva showed up on a conference call with members of the media who’ll be covering UFC 148 a week from Saturday in Las Vegas.

    “First of all, Chael is a criminal,” Silva said in response to the first mention of his opponent, speaking in Portuguese that then was translated by his manager, Ed Soares. “He’s been convicted of crimes. He doesn’t deserve to be inside of the octagon. When the time comes and the time is right, I’m going to break his face and break every one of the teeth in his mouth.”

    Well, well.

    And there was more. Each time Sonnen’s name was mentioned, Silva became more graphic in his pitiless forecast. He promised “to beat his ass like he’s never been beaten before” …
beat him “the way his parents should have beat him to teach him some manners” … “beat him out of the UFC.” It was as if Silva was aping Sonnen’s mean-spirited standup routine, the longest-running comedy act in MMA. So Anderson, how bad is the beating going to be? “He’s going to have to go see a plastic surgeon after the fight.” Ba-da-boom.

    As Silva went on, the words sounding so uncharacteristic, I found myself wondering whether he was really just talking about how the weather is lovely these days in Rio, and Soares was translating it as a Sonnen-is-a-dead-man threat in order to boost pay-per-view sales. But several Brazilian journalists took to Twitter to assure us monolinguals that the manager actually had softened what Silva was saying.

    Reaction to Silva’s pitbull act puzzled me. The pervasive theme on Twitter and even in some media accounts was this: Boy, are you in for it now, Chael. I don’t get it. Anderson Silva became the deadly fighter he is by being patient, elusive and impassive until it’s time to strike. That is, by being himself. Maybe he’s capable of morphing into a José Aldo-style aggressor and being even more of a killer. If so, Sonnen is in trouble. But it’s reasonable to think that Anderson fighting angry is not Anderson at his best.

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  • Published On Jun 25, 2012
  • Anderson Silva, Steven Seagal feature in schlocky Budweiser commercial

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    UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva appears with action-movie hero Steven Seagal in a new TV commercial for Budweiser that debuted in Brazil over the weekend.


    The 90-second spot includes references to The Karate Kid, Bloodsport, Enter The DragonKill Bill: Volume 1 and Rocky IV, with cameos by octagon announcer Bruce Buffer, UFC referee Dan Miragliotta, former champion Lyoto Machida and his karate-master father.

    – SI.com staff


  • Published On May 21, 2012
  • Anderson Silva, Chael Sonnen rescheduled for UFC 148 in Las Vegas

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    Anderson Silva (left) and Chael Sonnen (right) will finally wage their anticipated rematch at UFC 148 in Las Vegas on July 7. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen are still scheduled to meet this summer, and that’s good news for fight fans.

    But some bad news surrounding the rematch came Tuesday morning when the Brazilian UFC middleweight champion, his self-proclaimed beltholder of an opponent and Dana White, the fight organization’s president, showed up in Rio de Janeiro to announce that the bout no longer would be held in a stadium there on June 23, as scheduled, but was being moved to July 7 in Las Vegas.

    The fight hasn’t exactly lost its luster — Vegas has more of that than anywhere else on the planet — but it’s lost a good bit of the grit and righteousness that have made this rematch’s backstory so intriguing.

    You see, the fight is not simply between Silva and Sonnen. Chael, with his WWE-style bluster, has turned it into him vs. Brazil with his trash-talk ridicule of the country’s top fighters and even the nation itself. The mockery of the Nogueira brothers, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva and the like is fair game; they’re all big boys who can take care of themselves. But Sonnen’s rhetoric about Brazil has veered into ugly-American xenophobia.

    “When I was a little kid, I remember going outside and sitting with my friends,” Sonnen said during the press conference. “We’d talk about the latest technology and medicine and gaming and American ingenuity.” Then he brought his story to the present day to draw a contrast, saying, “And I’d look outside and Anderson and the Brazilian kids are sitting outside playing the mud.”

    That’s Chael at his mildest. In past diatribes, he’s characterized Brazil as backward in far more insulting ways. And he’s done so with little or no backlash, as the MMA media — and I must lump myself in the horde, unfortunately — mostly just yuks it up with the guy.

    So Brazil deserved its shot at Sonnen. Sure, he appeared Tuesday in a Rio conference room, and I half-expected to see a shoe thrown at his head, a la George W. Bush before the Baghdad media. But a press conference isn’t enough. After talking the talk, he should have been made to walk the walk — that is, stroll out to the octagon in a soccer stadium filled with Brazilians excited to see him get beat up by the champ.

    It’s just not going to work out in Brazil, however. My first thought upon hearing of the fight’s relocation was that the UFC feared for Sonnen’s safety. That might actually be the reason, but the public explanation is that the Rio stadium event fell apart because of the United Nations’ Rio+20 Conference taking place the same week, eating up hotel rooms and making a UFC event a logistical impossibilty. So there go the plans of sustainability for conference attendees who were hoping to catch the fights, too.

    There still will be a UFC 147 fight card in Brazil — there’s no date set, but it’ll be in an arena, not in a stadium, and still feature a showdown of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil coaches Belfort and Wanderlei Silva, plus the reality show’s middleweight and featherweight finals and a Fabricio Werdum-Mike Russow heavyweight bout. White said Tuesday he might also put featherweight champion José Aldo on the card. So it’s not all bad news for Brazilian fans.

    And by moving Silva-Sonnen II to Las Vegas, White has transformed UFC 148 into a Fourth of July fireworks spectacle. In addition to the fight for the middleweight championship, there also will be a bantamweight tile bout between The Ultimate Fighter: Live coaches Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber plus a Tito Ortiz vs. Forrest Griffin rubber match (perhaps Tito’s final fight), Rich Franklin vs. Cung Le and Michael Bisping vs. Tim Boetsch.

    All’s well that ends well, then? That’s what White would have you believe. “This is going to be a global event. If we were going to do it here in Brazil, it needed to be done in a huge soccer stadium,” he said. “As we got into the logistics of trying to make this thing happen here, we just couldn’t pull it off. If we couldn’t do it here, then Las Vegas was the only other option.”

    Silva took some convincing to make the move, according to While, although the champion was nothing but agreeable at the press conference. “I’m a UFC athlete, and I have fans all over the world,” he said. “Regardless of where this fight takes place, I will represent Brazil, and I will do my job and defend my belt.”

    That was the professional thing for him to say. But the fans in his home country deserved better.

    – Jeff Wagenheim


  • Published On Apr 24, 2012


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