Fight Day: Which Anderson Silva will fight Chris Weidman?

WhichSilva_thumbPart of me wants Anderson Silva to go straight at Chris Weidman and smash him.

No games. No dance steps. No waving him over to the cage. Pure violence.

Silva needs to make a statement tonight and finish Weidman in devastating fashion.

That’s a ridiculous statement, of course, as Silva’s been so dominant for so long he really has nothing to prove to anyone, let alone MMA fans. But at his level of competition, we’re not dealing with a normal “drive” and “dedication to training” etc., so I have no doubt that in his mind, Silva does indeed have a need to make tonight’s performance a statement.

But which statement?

As much as I want him to be all business tonight, I would be surprised if he were. Clowning is part of his “fighting style” as he and those around him are so quick to point out at every opportunity, and so I fully expect him to double down on the antics. Perhaps he feels he can really make Weidman look like a schlub who got lucky and unworthy of his belt if he does clown him tonight.

After all, we’re not just dealing with an incredibly high competitive spirit in Silva, but also a confidence off the charts as well. Notice I didn’t say “cockiness” because I don’t believe, for all his frustrating tactics in the cage, that Anderson Silva is cocky. He is just that good.

We’ve rarely seen Anderson Silva determined to inflict violence on his opponent in a serious manner. He plays, dances, learns his opponent’s timing and does just enough to knock the other guy out. It doesn’t appear that he comes out angry, or looking to hurt his opponent for the sake of doing damage. Will that change tonight?

As has been pointed out before, Silva lacks a wrestling background, and part of his strategy fighting style is to keep his hands low in order to get underhooks and scoop his opponent up when they shoot in on him for a takedown. That only worked some of the time against Weidmen last time. We’ll have an opportunity to see how he’s improved his takedown defense tonight, I have no doubt.

So maybe he’ll come out tonight with a serious face and we’ll see a focused, determined fighter looking to get his belt back in devastating fashion. Maybe he’ll take the fight to Weidman, moving forward aggressively and stalk the Champion, and take his belt back, leaving Weidman a crumpled mess on the mat.

Maybe we’ll see a happy-go-lucky fighter, relieved of the pressure of being the champion and invigorated by playing the role of challenger, looking to take back his legacy in his own, graceful, playful style.

Either way, I’ll be glued to the screen eager to find out.