After Anderson Silva’s disappointing decision win over Thales Leites, the second straight “boring” fight for the middleweight champion, UFC President Dana White said he would have a hard time convincing fans that his next fight would be any different.
There have been two problems with creating matchups for Silva, and White has solved both of them. First, it’s hard to think of anyone in his weight class that is a legitimate threat rather than someone with a “puncher’s chance.” Secondly, with Silva preferring to counter, his last two opponents seemed unwilling to put themselves in harm’s way, leading to boos for a boring fight. At UFC 101 in August, Silva will face light heavyweight Forrest Griffin, and things will be different.
It’s the perfect matchup. Griffin has never been in a boring fight. His are among the most exciting in the sport, and he’s not at his best until his face is bleeding. Excitement problem solved. But as a former champion, he’s also a worthy opponent. Silva’s previous jump up to light heavyweight was a quick knockout over middle-of-the-road James Irvin. Not sure he proved anything we didn’t already know in that fight.
White won’t have any trouble selling this event, which includes B.J. Penn vs. Kenny Florian for the lightweight championship. Fans may be frustrated with Silva, but they know what to expect with Griffin. Oh yes, there will be blood.