Anderson Silva: Not the Perfect Fighter

Hey guys,

Another week, another Fightland piece =) This is the first of two which I am going to be writing about the Silva Weidman match. This one focuses on Silva, the next one will focus on the specifics of the matchu up.

Lots of UFC gifs in this one, so I left them out but I hope you don't mind clicking the link and as always all feedback is welcomed!



Contrary to what you might think, it’s not the fighter who strives towards perfection who poses the most danger to his peers. Georges St-Pierre was the closest thing to perfection in MMA, yet his lack of finishes drew criticism for years. No, the real destructive force, in the ring or in the cage, is the man who casts aside the idea that he can achieve perfection and devotes himself to understanding everyone else's mistakes.

To my mind it has never been Anderson Silva's well-rounded game that has made him so captivating to watch or so effective. It is that he is forever waiting for an opponent to make a mistake--probing, digging, and taunting, trying to force their hand to get that sole ill-thought-out charge or overzealous swing out of them.

Not an adversary or antagonist but a cruel mirror, Silva finds the flaws in his opponents, shines a harsh light on them, and shows them to the world.

Drawing the Bum's Rush

Anyone can string some words together in coherent sentences, but it is the rhythm, the cadence, and the context that separate Shakespeare from that friend you have with the English literature degree. Sometimes you might be able to impress or intimidate your peers with your fancy-Dan language, but most of the time your meaning will be lost and you'll be left looking, and feeling, like a nitwit. The same is true for fighters. Great strike variety is not dissimilar to having an extensive vocabulary, but it's not punch variety that flusters elite opposition, but presence.

A fighter can use his presence to create pressure on his opponent--either the pressure to hit or the pressure to avoid getting hit. Mike Tyson is a brilliant example of the latter. Tyson didn't throw a whole lot of meaningless punches. He would move his head, feinting with his shoulders, and rush opponents into corners. But it was his implied punches that had his opponents running across the ring; the real blows were saved until he knew they had something to thud against.

Anderson Silva is an example of the other kind of pressure. Like Willie Pep, Naseem Hamed, Pernell Whitaker, and so many others, Silva pressures his opponents to hit him--to rush, to reach, to over-commit. As a counter striker there is simply no substitute for having an opponent who really can't wait to hit you.

Just look at the distance Silva keeps between himself and Nate Marquardt in this gif. Marquardt lunges in, throws himself off balance, and clips Silva. But Silva is still over his hips and feet, still in position to punch, and he catches Marquardt with a short left hook as he steps back.

Now, Anderson Silva can take a punch with the best of them, but Marquardt's long overhand was thrown wild and off-balance, and Silva was right on the far end of it. Silva's short hook, meanwhile, wasn't much to look at but Marquardt was so off balance and out of position that he ended up diving for a clinch, where he was hit with a short uppercut and sent stumbling back.

To create the pressure he needs in order to make opponents swing for him, Silva will stand just out of their reach. From there he will throw those long kicks that generally accomplish little, and he will dance, which accomplishes even less. But in the eyes of the judges and the fans he is the more active fighter. Every second a fighter isn't trying to engage Anderson Silva is a second he’s falling behind on the scorecards.

Very few fighters, particularly in MMA, chase well. Most of them let their head get in front of their hips and throw themselves into an unbalanced run towards the opponent. Nowhere was this more obvious than in Silva's fight against Forrest Griffin. Griffin, for all his heart and skill, couldn't break eggs with his punches. Yet he loved to get into brawls. Silva was free to disregard almost all of Griffin's offence, and every ounce of disdain he showed just made Griffin more determined to run in swinging.

Continues at:

These are always Awesome! Thanks Jack! Phone Post 3.0

Fuck you have a way with words.... Phone Post 3.0

Nice Work again...

Voted Up...!!! Phone Post 3.0


Jack you are like toilet paper, always appreciated to have around :)

Joshua King - Didn't read but I'm sure it went something like

"A baiting counter striker that got frustrated when his aura didn't have his opponent defeated before the fight"

Sounsaboutright? Phone Post 3.0

Sounds about like you didn't read the article.

Great read as always, Jack.

Joshua King - Didn't read but I'm sure it went something like

"A baiting counter striker that got frustrated when his aura didn't have his opponent defeated before the fight"

Sounsaboutright? Phone Post 3.0


Great article! Phone Post 3.0

Great post Phone Post 3.0

Consistent excellence with your articles Jack.

Re-read the Hunto peice as well.

Gj Phone Post 3.0

IN Phone Post 3.0

Great article. Thank you!

As I was watching the gifs, I noticed something: when Anderson is moving backwards with his hands down, his head is way back, but his torso is not so much. If he does that in the rematch, Weidman should aim for the liver and knock him out that way. Are you reading this, Chris? Ray, you reading my post? AIM FOR HIS LIVER!!!

Sub to read later. Love your articles Jack!



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