I can’t be the only one out there feeling this way. It’s a strange, unfamiliar feeling. This weekend one of, if not the greatest fighters of all time is stepping into the cage, and I just kinda, sorta don’t really care.
It was odd, albeit understandable to see Anderson Silva fill in and serve as just-another-feature on the mega-sized UFC 200 card. But now, “The Spider” will be in the Co-Main Event position on a largely forgettable (but hopefully exciting, fingers crossed) UFC 208 card. A strange change from generally being on the draw of a largely forgettable card.
Aside from the aforementioned UFC 200, Silva has only ever been outside of the Main Event just two times during his UFC career: the first, in support of one of the most anticipated Lightweight title fights of all time between B.J. Penn and Kenny Florian at UFC 101. The second? His debut against Chris Leben, back at Ultimate Fight Night 5. Some quick facts about Fight Night 5:
Jon Fitch vs. Thiago Alves was on the undercard
Josh Koscheck was on the undercard
It was more than 10 years ago in 2006
Jonathan Goulet vs. Luke Cummo was the main event and Jonathan Goulet won
Needless to say, it’s been awhile since we’ve seen Anderson Silva be looked at as just another guy on a fight card. And it shows in the media leading up to the fight. Sure, there’s some talk about Silva wanting to fight Conor McGregor and Georges St. Pierre. But having to invoke the names of two of the sports biggest stars to draw headlines is a shift in how we all prepare for an Anderson Silva fight.
In the past I often found myself fiercely supporting the opponents of The Spider, waiting for someone to truly test him, hoping to see a major upset before it inevitably happened. Now, I find myself feeling almost nothing aside from the hope of an exciting fight (fingers crossed), something more like the outing against Michael Bisping, and less like the smothering at the hands of Daniel Cormier and the truly bizarre-but-not-cool-beyond-one-round “fight” against Nick Diaz.
It’s nothing against Derek Brunson. His previous fight against Robert Whittaker is truly one of the more entertaining pieces of fight spectacle that can be seen, and his impressive list of finishes before that is just that: impressive.
It’s just that now, for whatever reason, watching Anderson Silva co headline behind a weird title fight, feels like just another fight. And that is strange. But hey, let’s just hope for an exciting fight…fingers crossed.