Anderson Silva Fights For His Legacy

December 28, 2013 9:19 am by Jim Chadwick

Fedor Emelianenko was, at one time, the best fighter competing in the sport of MMA. He had over thirty wins with no real defeats, and the manner in which he won his fights made him seem like something out of a comic book, rather than a regular old mortal man.

Case in point: When he met Nogeuria, the man with the most dangerous guard in all of MMA? He went to the mat with him and absolutely decimated him, moving in and out of his guard at will and hitting him with such force that his head would snap back like a Pez dispenser being loaded.

When he met CroCop, one of the most feared strikers in the heavyweight division? He stood toe-to-toe with him, out-striking the K1 striker in a manner that almost no one expected.

And when he met powerhouse wrestler Kevin Randleman, and found himself on the receiving end of a suplay that would have broken the neck of any other man? He absorbed it like his vertebrae were made of steel, and submitted him moments later.

Yes, Fedor’s reign was a thing of legend. He was well on his way to ending his career as the best to ever don the 4 ounce gloves, Dana White was tossing piles of cash at him in an attempt to get him inside of the Octagon, and his legacy was intact.

But then something happened: Fedor lost.

Three times in a row, to be exact. And when you lose three times in a row when you hadn’t lost in ten years prior to that, well… you start looking a little too human. A little too mortal. And Fedor’s legacy started to burn out right before our shocked eyes. Sure, Fedor’s win streak was still remarkable. And a lot of people still feel that he was the best ever. But his legacy had been severely tarnished by those three losses, to the point where it almost seems like – to some fans – they outweigh the thirty wins that preceded them.

It’s not fair. It’s a travesty. And it’s the same fate that Anderson Silva faces, if he loses to Chris Weidman tonight.

Sure, his record will still be intact. His streak will still be in the books. The records he broke and the amazing fights he put on for us will still be on tape, ready to be enjoyed all over again at a moment’s notice. Silva doesn’t need to win tonight in order to prove any of those things. They’re already proven.

Anderson Silva needs to win tonight for his legacy.

If he were to lose to Chris Weidman twice in a row, he will be facing the same harsh reality that Fedor faced. He will look all too human, and the fans will pick him apart like crows swarming on fresh roadkill. They’ll say ridiculous things, like “Ah, he was never that good anyway”… or “He never really faced anyone that talented, before Chris”. They will say it, and unfortunately in the sport of MMA, reality is all too often defined by a majority decision.

This is truly the biggest fight of Anderson Silva’s career. His entire legacy literally comes down to what he does or does not do in that cage tonight. And either way, we will all be witness to a huge moment in MMA history. In 25 minutes or less, a man’s legacy will be decided before our very eyes. And whether you love him or hate him, you have to respect the amount of pressure that Anderson will carry into that cage. Very few men will ever get to define their entire life in a matter of minutes, in front of millions of people, with one man standing in the way of them and a level of greatness that only a handful of people will ever achieve. And you can bet that Fedor will be watching right along with us, stoically cheering Anderson on.

Try not to blink, guys. No matter who throws it, an entire career will quite possibly be defined by a single strike. Don’t miss it.

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