Monday, April 12, 2010

The Worst Fight Of Maia; Silva Still Hold The Middleweight Title

The UFC broke new ground all night long in with its first show in Abu Dhabi and its first show outdoors. Until Anderson Silva hit the cage, at least. That's when Dana White should've told everyone, "You can leave if you want, we're going to show the champ's fights from UFC 90 and UFC 97”. Silva, clearly not challenged nor feeling threatened at all, by Demian Maia, danced, clowned and fooled around for the United Arab Emirates' royal family and the fans who paid up to $1,007. But he didn't do what the truly great fighters do: Go for the finish. 

With 2:40 remaining on the clock in the first round, Anderson Silva began steering like a huge predator preparing to strike. Silva dropped down onto one knee in front of Demian Maia while dropping both hands onto the mat leaving his head unprotected and appeared to be reckon Maia and preparing to strike. 

Viewers present at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi as well as those watching the middleweight title match on pay-per-view were anticipating Silva's attack. With just over a minute left on the clock in the first round, there was a flurry of activity coming from Silva and Maia was knocked down. Silva appeared to be toying with Maia like a cat with a prey item. 


Round two of the UFC 112 middleweight title match was largely an exercise in anticipation as well. Demian Maia lunged several times in an attempt to get Anderson Silva onto the mat where he would have a chance to submit him but seemed to lack the speed required to get a grip on his opponent. This is when things took a turn for the worse.  

Anderson Silva began taunting and mocking Maia with total disregard for honor and humility. Booing from the crowd ensued as Silva continued to clown around and toy with Maia. The wishful thinking was almost palpable with the desire to see Demian Maia get Silva onto the mat where he would have a chance.

It was obvious that Anderson Silva could have ended the UFC 112 middleweight title match at the time of his choosing. With 2:30 remaining in the fourth round, Demian Maia's face and trunks were covered in blood yet he remained on his feet continuing to look for an opening that didn't exist. The crowd at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi began to chant loudly in unison, "Maia, Maia, Maia", showing support for the battered challenger.

It was between the fourth and fifth rounds when UFC president Dana White approached Ed Soares, Silva's manager, giving him the UFC 112 middleweight title belt and told him that he was going to have to put it on Anderson Silva because White wasn't willing to do it. White proceeded to walk out of the UFC 112 Middleweight title match disgusted and embarrassed by the champion's behavior.

At the beginning of the fifth round, Demian Maia's left eye was swollen shut. It appeared that he had blown his fractured nose between rounds causing his eye to immediately swell shut. Without anything to lose and only 3:50 remaining in the fifth round, Maia exploded, throwing all that he had left into an attempt to take Silva down. 

By that time the two were so completely drenched in sweat in the humid Abu Dhabi air that Silva was simply too slippery to hold onto. With fifty seconds remaining, the ref called a time out and warned Anderson Silva to stop running around or he would take a point away from him. In the end Silva simply burned off the remaining time and won by unanimous decision.

A lot of UFC audiences who had paid top dollar for tickets to the
Silva vs. Maia UFC Middleweight title fight left early in disgust. The UFC 112 post fight press conference showed Dana White's anger and embarrassment over what had just transpired. He was disgusted by the first impression the UFC had made in Abu Dhabi. He felt that Anderson Silva owed an apology to everyone and was left apologizing for him instead. 

It was unclear what action, if any, Dana White would be taking against Anderson Silva. He left to have a private conversation with Anderson Silva about what had just happened. Many people would have loved to be a fly on the wall in that room.

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