UFC 208’s co-main event was a strange one, but the legendary Anderson Silva finally got his long-overdue victory.
Anderson Silva came into this fight with the UFC belt still on his mind. Regarded by many as the greatest MMA fighter of all time he is closer to the end of his career than the beginning, though. It has been an odd turn of events for ‘The Spider’ after dropping the rematch for the title against Weidman. He’s fought Nick Diaz in a wacky fight that afterward saw both fighters test positive for banned substances.
Then current UFC champ Michael Bisping, whom he knocked out as the round three ended. Silva prematurely celebrated and wound up losing the decision. Most recently he stepped in to help save UFC 200 in a bad mismatch versus Light-Heavyweight Daniel Cormier when Jon Jones found himself in trouble again. This fight was quite different than his last few I just named and seemed to stylistically work towards his favour at least on paper.
Derek Brunson might be the wildest fighter we’ve seen since the likes of Chris Leben. He holds nothing back on his punches and sticks his chin out like he’s daring his opponent to knock him out. That is exactly what happened in his last fight at UFC Melbourne versus Robert Whitaker. A rock em’ sock em’ style fight that originally looked promising for Brunson turned into a disappointing KO loss. Some thought he might go back to his forgotten base of wrestling because of the perceived style mismatch on the feet.
Brunson was not his usual reckless self to start the first he looked very tentative. Not a single punch was thrown in the first minute of the fight. Silva countered with right hooks off both of Brunson’s first couple punches.
Spider starts chasing him breaking character and Brunson looks for a level change. Silva counters with a left hook and drops Brunson who looks for another takedown. Brunson lands a couple of his own punches from the clinch. Silva chased after him again and landed a wheel kick. The Brazilian got the clinch again but Brunson lands uppercuts that go undefended. Silva attempted a flying knee that completely missed and wound up on his back as the round ends.
The second round opened with Brunson attempting a takedown that is easily stopped. Spider seemed to be gaining confidence baiting his opponent as the round went on. Landing a spinning back fist and a kick to the body but Brunson finally gets the takedown. Silva is quickly back to his feet and in the clinch. Brunson didn’t do much from the position, though. He unsuccessfully shot for another takedown. Silva does some dancing and then lands a spinning head kick. Mocking him out of frustration possibly.
Silva stops a couple more takedowns from Brunson. Showing off impressive takedown defence in the third round as he did the whole fight. Silva gets him in the clinch again but doesn’t defend any of Brunson’s strikes from there strangely. He throws a wheel kick to the leg that Brunson says hit him in the cup. Silva apologises and they continue. Brunson drags Silva to the mat as he seemed to be running out of gas and that is where the fight ends.
All three judges somewhat surprisingly read in favour of Anderson Silva. The crowd agrees with the decision, though. He is very emotional in the post fight interview and can’t speak for a minute. Silva says he knows he is too old to fight but he loves it too much. Not sure where his career goes after this strange fight.