Silva unbeatable? Tyson once was, too

His friends were going out that night, but Dana White chose to stay home.

There was a fight on TV, a boxing match that included a heavyweight champion who was more fable than human, whose undefeated record merely scratched the canvas when explaining his almost mythical-like dominance.

A modern-day Poseidon, able to shake the earth with his mighty left hook.

“My friends were sort of fringe boxing fans and said, ‘That fight will be over in six minutes, so come out and meet us when it is,’” White remembered. “I’ll never forget it as long as I live. I just sat home and watched in horror as the thing unfolded.

“That’s how it is now with Anderson Silva.”

White watched that February night in 1990 as Buster Douglas executed one of the biggest upsets in sports history, knocking out Mike Tyson in the 10th round.

Douglas was a 42-1 underdog.

Horror, is right.

White is now a businessman, a famed entrepreneur as president of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, in which he employs a champion whose legacy flirts with the sort of supremacy Tyson once enjoyed.

Silva owns the 185-pound division like Android does smartphone sales.

He hasn’t lost since 2006, and his UFC streak includes 16 straight wins and 10 title defenses, a seven-year run of perfection in the octagon that next will be tested against Chris Weidman in a middleweight main event tonight at UFC 162 at the MGM Grand Garden.

It has come to this in regards to Silva: Would it be better for UFC business if he were to finally lose?

White has said Silva will receive an immediate rematch should he not beat Weidman, and that the rematch would be huge, and you know what that means. Bigger gate. Massive interest. Global appeal.

“As a businessman, as a fight fan, I think it’s awesome to have a guy dominate as Anderson has,” White said. “So many people believe he will win this fight easily, that it’s crazy to think Chris Weidman has a chance. But there is the other side, including many fighters, who say, ‘No, this is the guy who can do it. This is the guy who matches up.’ There is only one way to find out.”

This happens often in sports. A champion is so ridiculously good, so consistent and almost effortless in his journey of one victory followed by another, that people begin to look for reasons as to why he will lose.

They begin to think more with their heart than their head, searching for any flaw that might convince them he who never loses is about to.

I’m not certain that’s the case in so many picking Weidman, because the odds (Silva can be found as low as minus-220 and Weidman plus-215) are the closest for the champion in years.

But the reasons are flowing for why many believe Silva falls tonight.

He was nearly beaten by Chael Sonnen last year, getting dominated on the mat in the first round before scoring a technical knockout at 1:55 of the second.

Also, Silva is 38, and some insist he might have finally arrived at the doorstep of Father Time. They tell you Weidman is 9-0 and nine years younger than Silva.

On and on, the reasons come.

“I am fighting the greatest of all time, so I expect many people will think I’m going to lose,” Weidman said. “But if I’m working hard, and he is working hard, the other guy is not going to break me. This is where I have wanted to be for a long time, fighting for the belt. This is a life-changer for my family.

“If other fighters think I can win, that’s pretty cool.”

Silva doesn’t seem fazed by any of it. He is a rock star in Brazil, Elvis and Springsteen and McCartney rolled into one. I’m just not sure he cares much about others predicting a loss tonight because I’m not sure he pays much attention.

Silva is an odd bird, one of the toughest and baddest men on the planet, whose eyes pop around behind glasses like Mr. Potato Head and whose voice is a soprano mix of former baseball stars Dave Stewart and Tony Gwynn.

“The only way I can explain it is that dealing with Anderson is like dealing with an artist,” White said. “Great guy, great champion, but quirky and has his moments. But people want to see him because you know something special is going to happen.”

It did one February night in 1990.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on “Gridlock,” ESPN 1100 and 98.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.

ad-high_impact_4
Covering The Cage Videos
Covering the Cage: Jordan Rinaldi, UFC on Fox 27 preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to fighter Jordan Rinaldi about his upcoming fight and preview the rest of UFC on Fox 27.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 220 and Bellator 192 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap UFC 220 and Bellator 192.
Covering the Cage: Recapping 2017
Heidi Fang and Adam Hill go over their favorite moments of 2017 and pick their favorite fight, knockout and submission of the year.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Recap
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonights fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Picks
Covering The Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang give their picks for the main card fights at UFC 219.
Covering The Cage: UFC 219 Preview
Covering the Cage hosts Adam Hill and Heidi Fang preview UFC 219 including Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm.
UFC 219 media day staredowns
Ahead of UFC 219's pay-per-view on Dec. 30, the stars of the main card faced off at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Cris "Cyborg" Justino will face Holly Holm in the main event for the women's featherweight belt.
Covering the Cage: UFC fighter Julian Marquez talks debut victory
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk with UFC fighter Julian Marquez. They discuss the beard competition between Marquez and Tyron Woodley, and the unexpected passing of longtime MMA coach and trainer Robert Follis.
Covering the Cage: Julian Marquez interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk about all things going on in the world of MMA and talk to Julian Marquez about his upcoming fight in Winnipeg.
Covering The Cage Live: UFC 218 Recap, TUF 26
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter 26 and UFC 218.
Covering The Cage: TUF 26 Recap, UFC 218 Preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap The Ultimate Fighter and preview UFC 218.
Covering the Cage: UFC 218, TUF 26 Finale preview
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang make their picks for the "The Ultimate Fighter" Season 26 Finale and UFC 218. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Covering the Cage: Kyra Batara interview
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang talk to Combate Americas Womens Atomweight Kyra Batara about her upcoming fight in San Antonio as well as Conor McGregor's potential incident at a bar and UFC 218.
Covering the Cage Live: Conor McGregor Apologizes
Adam Hill and Heidi Fang discuss Conor McGregor apologizing on Instagram for jumping in the cage, shoving a referee at Bellator 187, recap of Anthony Pettis vs. Dustin Poirier, preview Fabricio Werdum vs. Marcin Tybura as well as Michael Bisping stepping up on less than 30 days notice to fight Kelvin Gastelum in China.
Roxanne Modafferi previews her fight with Emily Whitmire on TUF 26
The Ultimate Fighter 26 features a Las Vegas showdown between Syndicate MMA's Roxanne Modafferi and Xtreme Couture's Emily Whitmire. Modafferi previews the fight with CoveringtheCage.com.
Covering The Cage: UFC 217 Recap
Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Heidi Fang recap tonight's UFC 217 main card title fights between T.J. Dillashaw and Cody Garbrandt, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas, and the return of Georges St-Pierre.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like