By Bryan Cross
Anderson Silva has long-been criticized for his style of fighting and seemingly uninterested nature while in the octagon, despite his reputation as perhaps the greatest striker in the sports’ history. The theme continued at UFC 112 on Saturday, as Silva retained his middleweight crown at UFC, but did not impress fans or judges in his win.
Silva is the UFC’s longest champion, and got after his opponent, Demian Maia, in the first two rounds of the fight to secure a high points lead heading into the third round, only to retract and taunt the rest of the way.
In the end, he won on a unanimous decision at the Ferrari World Concert Arena in Abu Dhabi, United Ara Emirates.
This was Silva’s 11th UFC appearance, which he remains undefeated. After asserting himself early in the match, Silva appeared to not take the rest of the bout seriously, often taunting Maia throughout the course of the finals round.
This fight was perhaps the gateway to a UFC fan’s dream match up between Silva and Georges St. Pierre, but fans became increasingly agitated with Silva in this fight, as chants of “Maia” and “GSP” echoed throughout the arena.
It reminded UFC analysts of a bout between Silva and Thales Leites last April in which Silva displayed similar antics.
“Demain actually surprised me with some of his punches, and I apologize to everybody,” Silva said by way of his his translator, Ed Soares. “I don’t know what got into me tonight. I wasn’t as humble as I should have been. It was just the ring rust and a little bit of everything. I’m really sorry.”
It looked like Silva was going to end the match early, as he displayed a series of powerful strikes that seemed to knock Maia backwards, but the reigning champion disengaged after round two, while Maia tried to battle back in the final three rounds in the losing effort.
A shocking upset was produce in the other title fight, as Frankie Edgar defeated BJ Penn by unanimous decision. Edgar showcased his versatility as a fighter and used his relentless style and speed to over-match the champion in Penn.
The scores for the match were 50-45, 48-47 and 49-46 all in favor of Edgar.
“This is it. B.J. is the greatest lightweight ever, and I just beat him,” Edgar said after the win. “I just hope I can be half the champion he was.”
The fight stayed off the ground for the majority, as Edgar tabs his fourth consecutive victory.
Penn struck Edgar with several powerful punches, but was unable to get the upper-hand in the fight, and could not slow the challenger down.
Entering UFC 112, Silva was the asserted favorite to defend his title, with Penn as favorite as well. Edgar pulled off the stunning upset however, as Online Sportsbooks did not foresee the events unfolding quite like this.