Anderson Silva has won a record 16 straight fights in the UFC. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
Before UFC 153 “Silva vs. Bonnar” on Saturday at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, there were questions like, “Why is this event happening?” and “Who is going to buy this?” Still no clearer on those points, the show’s aftermath has left us with more pressing queries.
We’ll attempt to untangle things below, with questions posed by Sherdog.com features editor Brian Knapp.
Question: Will Anderson Silva retire with an undefeated record in the UFC?
Answer: As tough as it is to imagine Silva losing, it will probably take a loss to get him to hang up his gloves. The middleweight champ has said that his ultimate goal is to retire unbeaten in the Octagon, but what UFC champion has ever moved on before his time? Silva has bandied about the idea of retirement for years now; remember when he wanted to box Roy Jones Jr.? However, with each year, his target date gets pushed back a little more. After UFC 153, he stated that he’d like to fight for five more years, which would bring him to age 42. While he seems to be selecting his super fights carefully, he also has a belt to defend, and five years is plenty of time for a middleweight Jon Jones to arrive on the scene.
Question: Did the people questioning whether or not Stephan Bonnar took a dive actually watch the fight?
Answer: They probably watched the fight, but they also probably have never taken a Silva knee to the solar plexus. The other problem is that the intersection of Zuffa Haters Boulevard and Conspiracy Theorists Lane is a high-traffic area. This is not to say everyone needs to drink UFC President Dana White’s Kool-Aid or even that the outcome of a bout should never be called into question, but maybe, just maybe, it’s possible that the world’s greatest fighter beat up a semi-retired veteran without the fix being in.
Question: Which fight is more interesting, Silva-Georges St. Pierre or Silva-Jon Jones?
Answer: Jones, and it’s not even close. Aside from the fact that St. Pierre has been away for more than a year and has plenty of business to attend to in his own division, the Silva-GSP fight has just lost its luster since Jones became a dominant force. St. Pierre would be moving up 15 pounds to fight at 185 against a guy who has demolished every 205-pounder he’s faced, and the French Canadian would have one clear path to victory: wrestling. On the other hand, the bigger, stronger and more dynamic Jones could present Silva with problems previously not encountered by “The Spider.” Who wouldn’t want to see that?
Question: Should Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira retire?
Answer: No. Except in extreme cases, I’m fully against fans and media trying to induce retirement, and this is not one of those cases. Yes, Nogueira is shopworn and is now apparently being held together by pins and rods, but the fact remains that he beat a much younger -- if also much less talented -- man at UFC 153. Maybe it would be nice for Nogueira to go out on a high note, having scored that win in front of his hometown crowd, but he’s not ready to go and he’s earned the right to not be forced out the cage door. He might never be champ again, but “Big Nog” clearly still has some fights left in him.
Question: Does Dave Herman belong in the UFC?
Answer: Not right now, and it’s likely he won’t be there long after three straight losses. Sparse as the heavyweight division is, there’s a chance he won’t be cut, although his against Nogueira didn’t show much to look forward to. Herman got outclassed by an aging great at UFC 153, but he’s also dropped fights to Roy Nelson and Stefan Struve -- good fighters but not title contenders. Heavy hands, wrestling and pure athleticism carried Herman to the Octagon; now, maybe it’s time to work on that jiu-jitsu.
Question: Was the beating Glover Teixeira put on Fabio Maldonado the worst in UFC history?
Answer: If it wasn’t the worst, it’s certainly in the Top 3. For anyone who missed it, the numbers from FightMetric.com say it all: Teixeira landed 117 strikes to Maldonado’s 14, scored three takedowns and passed guard five times. The only similar thumping that comes to mind was dealt out by a man who I suspect Teixeira will square off with in 2013, Jon Jones. He laid a severe beating on Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in March of last year. Still, it didn’t have the same embarrassment factor as Silva’s clowning of Forrest Griffin, if only because Teixeira’s opponent refused to give up. Maldonado is a tough man -- too tough for his own good, clearly -- but hopefully this loss prompts a drop to middleweight.