The genius Anderson Silva – or, the art of building an excuse

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Chris Weidman knocks Anderson Silva out during the main event of UFC 162; photo: Getty Images

Photo via Getty Images.

There were two final dodges. And two consecutive left-hand punches. On the first one, the dodge won; on the second, the fist won. And down he went. After seven years and six days, Anderson Silva finally lost his UFC invincibility, 78 seconds into the second round of the main event of UFC 162 in Las Vegas.

The arm of Chris Weidman, the new middleweight champion, had not yet been raised, and the social networks were already teeming with theories about the fight. The two main currents were 1) the conspiracy one (“rigged fight”), which I refuse to address, and 2) “If Anderson hadn’ f*cked around, he would have knocked Weidman out easily.”

I once had a training partner in Jiu-Jitsu who had incredible skill, but would also only come close in tournaments. He would usually lose in the final. But there was always a lot of expectation surrounding his performance.

He would practice like all of his competing colleagues, but, come tournament week, he’d start going out at night to drink. Even so, he’d do well, but he never got first place. Everyone would say: “Man, imagine IF he were more dedicated, if he wouldn’t go out to drink, at least not while competing.”

Even though the IF made no sense, everybody would fall for the fallacy of conjecture, including him. Indeed, what he was doing when he went out at night was building an excuse for defeat.

Fast-forward to the night of July 6 at the MGM Arena in Vegas.

Weidman starts out pressing, puts Silva on the bottom and dominates the first minutes of the match. Anderson is a monster and, even at a disadvantage, he holds back Weidman, who, focused, looks for spaces, throws strikes, positions himself and, at one point, goes for a series of attacks on the champion’s leg/foot, which end up costing him the top position.

The fight resumes standing, and Anderson starts playing, gesturing, dancing – essentially trying to destabilize his opponent, but also building an excuse. Whether Weidman was being affected by the mental attack, we’ll never know. The fact is that, retaining his focus, he continued to charge, and Anderson didn’t stop kidding around even after the break.

Then Weidman got the knockout. But in the eyes of throngs of experts on the social networks, he didn’t get the merit. After all, Anderson had built his excuse masterfully:

Would Anderson Silva have lost IF he had fought seriously?

There is no alternative reality. At least not outside drunken philosophy and comic books. In his post-fight interview, Anderson himself made a point out of praising the new belt holder.

Weidman is a world-class athlete, just 29 years old, and he is no easy fight for anyone, not even the greatest champion in UFC history.

With or without kidding around.

Kudos to the genius that is Anderson Silva, who managed to become, in the eyes of many, the protagonist. Even in Chris Weidman’s night.

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There are 31 comments for this article
  1. Gracie Barra Corona at 11:16 am

    Interesting and so well said Luca!
    The ego is a 'wizard' at preservation and self-defense and perhaps even receives a tip from some higher self on how to go about things sometimes.
    A true mystery

  2. Holly McClung Reusing at 11:59 am

    Sorry, thought I was logged in here not gbc
    It is also not so often that such a big dose of humility for one man is witnessed and analyzed by so many people but when the time is right………and we all learn.

    Thx for writing this one. Holly

  3. Chris Scade at 3:32 pm

    The only the excuse here is the excuse to get Dana to allow him to retire. Seriously, what kind of moron forces a 38 year old to sign a 10 fight contract?

    • Mike Ostrander at 4:30 pm

      you guys do know anderson asked for a 10 fight contract, it wasn't the ufc's idea. He has no legal obligation to actually have 10 fights if he chooses to retire. Weidman is a beast but to me it looked like silva lost his heart to fight as of late.

  4. Koko Mycine at 4:10 pm

    Ofcos if he hadn't fucked around he would have won, wat d fuck was he thinking… he just let millions of people around the world down, by acting silly and losing d belt in such manner..

    • Osas Omons at 2:47 am

      bros i told u b4, now he is tellin people dat he want to keave d us to stay with his people in brazil im tire of fighting…big fool….how come & at d initial stage i wass thinking dat he gonna man was afriad…WE WON WON …UP AMERICA

    • Osas Omons at 2:51 am


  5. Nelson Acosta at 4:28 pm

    Excuses are made for Silva only because most people cannot believe someone knocked him out. They didn't expect it.
    Chris Weidman won the title through much hard work and dedication. And, I'm certain he didn't go out drinking this week… Chris won. Anderson lost. Period.

  6. Joe Dockery at 7:25 pm

    Weidman was going to win regardless of Anderson's clowning. Anderson knew it, which is why he doesn't want the rematch.

  7. Juan Prego at 10:08 pm

    This is an EXTREMELY stupid article. Weidman said in the post fight conference that he started trading because Anderson got in his head.. so Anderson´s strategy to make Weidman strike instead of grapple was working flawlesly. We saw him winning like this for the last 7 years and called him a genius.. now using the same strategy he used for Chael, Forrest, Bonnar, Maia.. he lost and there are clowns like you writing this stuff.. unreal. He got caught doing what he always does and worked during the last 7 years. Period.

    • Bill Dennes at 5:32 pm

      My only reply to you is that everyone you listed pre-Weidman is a can. If you don't know that term it's short for tomato can, the kind that good fighters crush with little effort. Weidman presented a real threat, he's no pillow puncher like Sonnen and listing Forrest Griffin, Stephan Bonnar and Maia as legit contenders to win any fight with Silva is a joke.

  8. Julia Isabella at 4:26 am

    I agree with the theory that Silva was definitely building an excuse He had heard for weeks before the fight that the majority of other fighters and commentators were betting on Weidman to win. So Weidman got in Silva's head long before the fight ever happened. And the first round proved to Silva everything that secretly feared to be true…that Weidman not only could beat him, but probably would beat him. If you know you are going to lose anyway, why not build some doubt in the minds of some that maybe you lost only because you played around too much. Even if he wasn't intentionally building that excuse, and he just got caught by accident the result is the same i.e. some will believe that he could have won had he taken the fight more seriously. Silva is an amazing fighter and will go down in history as a legend for his tremendous skill. However, he has always been an incredible arrogant jerk to all of his opponents, and he deserved a little sweet TKO karma. What goes around comes around.

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