After facing a knock out artist who's stand up skills rival his own, UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is at the top of the world. Silva has left no doubt that he is truly, the best middleweight in the history of the sport, and has made a very convincing case that he is the best fighter of all time. The champion defeated knock out artist Vitor Belfort with a devastating front kick to the face, and finished the job with two air-to-ground straight punches that found Belfort's jaw with pinpoint accuracy.
Some would say that the champion has aged and his skills have suffered, others, that he's awaiting his moment to retire. After last night, it is safe to say that neither of those statements hold much value. I do not live in a world where old men with dwindling skills come from behind to submit an opponent who was winning four rounds to none. Nor do I live in a world where old men lift their legs face level, extend their foot, and knock out their opponents. Silva has his weaknesses, but I do not feel that he's reached a point where he's losing what he's trained so long to learn and perfect. Also, the man was able to "matrix dodge" an attack from Belfort, who's hands are as fast as greased lightning. No, age isn't getting to the champion yet.
UFC president Dana White has said that Silva's accomplished his end of the superfight with UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, all that is left is for GSP to defeat Jake Shields at UFC 129. When asked what he thought of a fight with GSP, Silva exclaimed, "I think it will be fun." You could practically see the dollar signs in his eyes when the question was asked. Not only that, but you could tell that Silva knows a victory over Georges St. Pierre at this time in both of their careers would be a great accomplishment, and possibly the crowning achievement of his career. Glory, legacies, history...Anderson Silva vs. Georges St. Pierre could be the greatest fight in the history of mixed martial arts and at the very top in the history of combat sports. Now, Georges St. Pierre is set with the task of staying healthy, training well, and defeating welterweight title challenger Jake Shields.
So much could go wrong, but baby, so much could go right!
Photo via Dave Mandel, for Sherdog