It’s a testament to just how good a fighter Anderson Silva was in his prime that MMA fans have so enthusiastically embraced him as Jon Jones’ replacement at UFC 200.
Since ‘The Spider’ was slotted into the spot opposite UFC light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier on Thursday, certain salient facts and statistics have scarcely been mentioned.
At 41, Silva is well past his physical peak and his form in recent years has been less than stellar. In fact, he is officially on a three-fight losing-streak and his only win since October of 2012 was overturned after he tested positive for a banned substance. A serious injury and the suspension which resulted from his aforementioned transgression also led to two lengthy periods of inactivity amidst this poor run.
Oh and let’s not forget that he took this bout with ‘DC’ on a couple of days notice and has stated publicly that he hasn’t trained in months.
But none of that matters, simply because he is Anderson Silva.
It seems that past glories have built up an infinite faith in the Brazilian’s abilities and, in spite of his form or the handicap of finding out about this fight on short-notice, people are still excited to see him strut his unique stuff inside the octagon.
Some are even reluctant to completely write off his chances of causing the seismic upset.
Likely inspired by a blend of nostalgia and the intoxicating recent spate of unexpected victories by late-replacements, UFC lightweight/welterweight Donald Cerrone is among those giving Silva a shot. Actually, ‘Cowboy’ is doing more than that. He is picking Silva outright and in an interview with Submission Radio even claimed that he plans to make a sizeable bet on the former middleweight champion.
“Anderson Silva is one of the greatest fighters of all-time,” said Cerrone. “There is always a fucking chance[of an upset], this is the sport. I’m going with Anderson. I’m putting a thousand on it”.
If you are thinking along the same lines as Cerrone, you can currently get Anderson at prices in the region of 3/1 – not a massive price all things considered.
Nostalgia is a powerful thing.