For a time, Anderson Silva stood out as the greatest mixed martial artist alive. Eventually, however, his reign was brought to an abrupt and violent halt by a young Chris Weidman, who defeated him first by second-round knockout, and then again as the result of a brutal leg injury.
Yet even after his losses to Weidman, Silva remained a frontrunner for MMA’s Greatest of All Time title. Sure, he seemed to be on a career downslide, but his remarkable accomplishments seemed to be ironclad.
But then Silva failed a drug test. And while he might have been able to rebound from this career low, he subsequently failed another, for which is currently awaiting sentencing from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). While Silva maintains he didn’t knowingly take a banned substance, His former foil Weidman feels he’s damaged his legacy all the same.
“Yeah, it definitely tarnishes his legacy,” Weidman recently told MMAFighting. “You fail a drug test, your whole career is in question, in my opinion. And he failed them now twice. So definitely it tarnishes his legacy. I don’t know what else to say about that. It’s just another one bites the dust. It’s one after another. Literally almost every guy I ever fought at this point has failed a drug test.”
“I’m not really that surprised,” Weidman added later. “After the first one and now this one. He’s older now. I don’t know. I’m not super surprised. In Brazil, I know the steroids are very easy to get. A lot of guys were probably on them a long time. I’m not super surprised. The reality is that it definitely tarnishes his legacy.
“All these guys are on it. Even Lyoto Machida failed a drug test. I didn’t think he was that guy. All the guys — Yoel Romero, Vitor Belfort. Go on Sherdog and look at my record. Literally almost every single guy I ever fought has failed a drug test.”
Do you think Anderson Silva’s once incredible legacy can survive this latest brush with USADA, or are you with Chris Weidman on this one?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/5/2018.