UFC 162 [Silva vs. Weidman]: The Spider-Man meets his Ultimate Wolverine.
Although these two middleweight titans have often combined their superhuman/mutant strengths for Avengers duty, an array of Astonishing team-ups, and a seemingly infinite number of ongoing titles, Wolverine and Spider-Man have certainly had their problems in the past.
Only because Logan never liked it when Peter tried to show him up.
Cue UFC 162‘s utterly determined, undefeated, berzerker-raging Chris Weidman, following the latest antics from the fed’s ultimately brash, toying-and-teasing legendary mixed-martial artist, Anderson Silva.
Spider-Man got caught, and it was the Wolverine who snikt’d him up good.
You see, here’s the thing: People think Anderson Silva was infallible. When you go undefeated in the UFC since entering the promotion in 2006, including 10 straight title defenses, it’s understandable why someone would think a man is superhuman. As superhuman as Marvel’s most popular superhero.
People thought the same thing about Tyson.
You think I’m talking about their dominance. I’m not.
If you ask me today if “Iron” Mike Tyson was a better fighter than Buster Douglas that night in Tokyo so many years ago, I’ll tell you that he was a thousand times out of a thousand.
If you ask me today if Anderson “The Spider” Silva was a better fighter than Chris Weidman on Saturday night in Las Vegas, I’ll tell you that he was a thousand times out of a thousand.
Mike Tyson didn’t lose to Buster Douglas. He lost to himself.
Anderson Silva didn’t lose to Chris Weidman. He lost to himself.
In both cases: Maybe because he wanted to.
The fact that Silva got knocked out – and make no mistake about that; he did get knocked the fuck out – isn’t what makes him human. The way that he lost makes him human.
“Poor puny Parker.”
We’ve seen glimpses of it before. When the UFC was short on competition for Silva (due to an injury to TRT-prone Vitor Belfort) they put a tentative Demian Maia in front of him at a UFC event in Abu Daibi. Silva jumped up and down like an idiot — or like Activision’s Amazing Spidey waltzing a sewer zombie — trying to get Maia to play his game. Maia, strictly a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, didn’t have another game to play. Silva prodded to no avail, and, by the time of the decision, it looked as if Silva had the sportsmanship of the neighborhood bully…and not like one whose great power came with great responsibility.
But nothing was as bad as Saturday night. Fighters have used different ploys in order to trick their opponent to fall into their trap since the beginning of fighting. We shouldn’t be surprised about it. He is UFC’s “Spider”-Man after all.
But you get the feeling that Silva wasn’t setting up his best webs this time – unless he was setting it for himself.
Silva put his hands down. He clowned. Weidman hit him with a hook that Silva clowned off, then Weidman hit him again. There was no more clowning. The lights were out.
Weidman had done the impossible. He knocked out the superhuman champion.
He took out the Marvelous Spider-Man.
Take nothing away from Weidman. He’s undefeated. He’s tremendously gifted. He has a base in wrestling, which we’ve seen is still the best base for the version of MMA we have come to know and love. He’s HUMBLE.
But, even if with an adamantium skeleton and unparalleled healing power, Chris Weidman is no Anderson Silva. And maybe that’s what Silva wants everyone to start realizing: That no one will ever again have a run like Anderson Silva just had.
If only he could have been more mentally tough. If only we could have seen how far he could have taken this streak if he just had to worry about fighting.
The man has a wife. He has five kids. He has gyms. He has training partners. He has sponsors. He has a Nike shirt with his name on it. People think this man is a super hero. They ask him what would happen in a fight with J. Jones (Jamison). GSP. Roy Jones Jr. Hell, Superman. That is a lot to weigh on someone. For all of that, a person has to be mentally strong. For all of that, a human has to be more than human.
What did he have to gain by defeating Weidman? $800k. A great payday for you and me, but a fraction of what GSP gets for his title tilts. Another win? Unless it’s Jon Jones or GSP, a win doesn’t matter in the legacy of Anderson Silva.
So, what’s the easy way out?
For Tyson, it was enjoying the fame, living high on the hog and not thinking James “Buster” Douglas had an Ice Cube’s chance at an Oscar of beating him that night in Tokyo.
For Anderson Silva, it was failing to do the first thing they tell all fighters to do the first day you put on a pair of gloves:
He didn’t keep his hands up. That’s it.
And after all of those victories over the likes of Dan Henderson, Vitor Belfort, Rich Franklin and Chael Sonnen, who cares if he got knocked out because he fought with his hands down against a younger, stronger fighter?
Again, praise the man, Chris “Wolverine” Weidman is the Champ. His corner, probably tired of Silva’s disrespect, told him between rounds to “punch a fucking hole in his chest.” Well, I think the chin did just fine.
But Anderson Silva will always be Anderson Silva: the greatest fighter the UFC has ever seen.
Last night we learned two things about our favorite Web Crawler, but they are really the same thing:
1. He took the easy way out because he was tired.
2. He’s human.