Long-time MMA analyst Jimmy Smith criticized Bellator commentator Big John McCarthy for his recent comparison between Michael Page and Anderson Silva.
McCarthy has come under scrutiny for his recent comments comparing the early careers of the two. Many fans believe that Bellator has given Page a mostly easy road so far, but McCarthy said that Page’s first 18 career bouts match up well with the first 18 fights that Silva had, despite the evidence suggesting Silva’s road was tougher. Smith saw McCarthy’s comments and said that he does not agree with him.
Speaking on his podcast, Smith explained why McCarthy’s comparison is wrong.
“The important thing to keep in mind here, in his seventh fight of his career, Anderson Silva beat the No. 1 welterweight in the world, Hayato “Mach” Sakurai. I know that seems weird. A lot of you just don’t remember Hayato Sakurai, you don’t remember the early days of the welterweight division, you don’t remember Anderson Silva at 170lbs. I know I’m speaking to an audience that remembers basically his performance at 185lbs in the UFC,” Smith said.
“What most people don’t remember is that (Silva) had a great run at 170 before he went to 185. In his early career, he was briefly the No. 1 welterweight in the world. To me, that by itself invalidates Big John McCarthy’s argument. MVP isn’t in sniffing distance of No. 1 in the world at 170lbs. Anderson Silva was No. 1 in the world when he beat Hayato Sakurai.”
It’s a strong argument put forth by Smith. During the first 18 fights of Silva’s career, he defeated MMA legends like Sakurai, Carlos Newton, and Jeremy Horn, while also picking up quality wins over the likes of future UFC fighters Roan Carneiro, Jorge Rivera, and Fabricio Camoes. That’s a quality resume for anyone, especially in their first 18 career fights.
Page, meanwhile, has fought two elite fighters in his first 18 fights in Douglas Lima and Paul Daley, sneaking by Daley with a decision and getting knocked out by Lima. His other notable wins are Fernando Gonzalez, Evangelista Cyborg, and Ricky Rainey. While it’s true that Silva did lose three times in his first 18 fights to Ryo Chonan, Daiju Takase, and Luiz Azerdero while Page lost just once, there’s evidence to suggest that’s because Silva’s run was tougher than Page’s.
Do you agree with Jimmy Smith’s criticism of Big John McCarthy’s comparison between Michael Page and Anderson Silva?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 1/9/2020.