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Frankie Edgar playing second fiddle to a mockery

UFC 112 was a night of firsts; the first time in Abu Dhabi; the first time a UFC event took place outdoors; and the first time Dana White left a title fight before it was over.

The source of his ire and most of the UFC fans was Anderson Silva’s embarrassingly disrespectful performance against Demian Maia. Dana White and many others have talked about Silva being pound-for-pound the greatest fighter in the MMA world and it was hard to argue that fact despite odd performances at UFC 90 and 97 respectively, until last night.

I can honestly say I have never seen a champion try to win a round via “hulking up” like a Vince McMahon puppet or from outright teasing, but that is what Anderson did laduring UFC 112. The sad thing is it should have been a great night for the sport, a good card on paper, a new night in a new country, a new champ at lightweight and then the pound-for-pound most disrespectful fighter in MMA has to ruin it. And for what? What was it about Maia that made him so hard to finish, what was it about doing line dancing, shadow boxing, and Tai Chi in the ring over actually ending the fight and going home that was so enticing to Anderson?

And at this point who wants to watch this guy fight again? I agree with Dana, although he would never actually do it, but put Silva on Spike in a prelim and pay him prelim wages til he decides to actually do his job, which is fight his opponent.

Not to take anything away from Anderson’s record, but last night was nothing like the Franklin fights, the Leben, or the Nate Marquart fight. Last night was not only embarrassing for the UFC, it was embarrassing for the sport itself from its “pound-for-pound” spokesperson on a number of levels. After the fight while in the ring Anderson was apologetic but in the press conference he was much more defiant; “I came here well-trained, but Demian disrespected me, not as a person, but he disrespected me as a fighter. I take that very seriously. I came here to do my job, which was to beat him up and punish him. That’s exactly what I did.”

Now I have been watching the UFC since 1993, boxing and professional wrestling since about 1983 and if I have learned just one thing, it is if your opponent disrespects you then you do in fact punish him, by fighting him. You know, punches, kicks, in some cases the Darc’e Choke, whatever. I dare say the fight between the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania 6 held more actual fighting in it than what happened on Saturday night, and that was scripted.

The fact is that this will mark the third odd if not out right embarrassing performance by someone who we should all be talking about with great reverence today after a tremendous war against Maia. But instead Dana has taken away the chance to fight GSP, although I am sure he will rescind that decision, and we are left $60 poorer and not all that willing to fall for another Anderson fight any time soon.

But the worst part of all of this, is that on that same night Frankie Edgar beat BJ Penn for the lightweight title with a stunning performance from a fighter most had counted out – myself included – before he got in the cage. Now instead of being the top MMA story on Sunday morning he has to play second fiddle to a legendary embarrassment.

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