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White not thrilled with Silva win

Report by Andreas Hale
Photos by Ed Mulholland

Anderson Silva retained his middleweight championship and claimed his UFC record breaking 9th victory in a row as he soundly defeated Thales Leites via unanimous decision at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Canada. But judging by the cascade of boos that fell upon the arena filled with MMA fans, you would have never guessed that Silva had won yet another fight.

“I wasn’t thrilled with it,” UFC President Dana White said during the post fight interview. “Did you love it? I didn’t think you would.”

Silva danced, pranced and occasionally made Leites eat a few punches and kicks en route to the relatively easy – but very boring – domination with scorecards reading 49-46, 50-46 and 48-47.

For Silva, anything less than a spectacular finish is unpopular. Everyone knows how good he is, but after two lackluster performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, one has to wonder when Silva will kick it up a notch and show MMA fans why he is considered the P4P best fighter in the world.

“I go out there and train to be efficient and have a perfect fight,” Silva said. “Not every fight is going to be a knockout and not every fight is going to be some spectacular finish. What I train to do I felt I executed today.”

Silva did put on a dominant performance, no matter how boring fans thought of it. Leites never posed a significant threat and it appeared that Silva could strike at will. Even when “The Spider” was on his back, he easily shrugged off any threat that Leites tried to muster up.

But all in all, dull is dull.

“I’m personally unhappy with the whole fight. I did not like the fight at all from either side,” White said as the media rained in with questions regarding the not so fan friendly performance.

“In my opinion, he can stop anybody in the 185lbs division,” White continued.” When he’s on, there aren’t too many things you can do to stop him. When he hits people, they don’t want to be hit again. When he lets his weapons go, people don’t like it. I just don’t think he let’s them go like he can.”

So what does Silva think about another round of criticism? Not much.

“Basically I’m comfortable with people’s opinions,” Silva said of the criticism he’s received after fights with Cote and now Leites. “When I go out there, everything that I work on in training I feel I execute. I wanted to go into the later rounds with Thales. I was unable to finish. Sometimes I’m able to finish and sometimes I’m not. I proved to everyone that I’m able to go five rounds and I’m in good shape.”

White has to think of something to make his P4P cash cow more enticing to fight fans because nights like this do not bode well for making new fans in the UFC.

“I honestly think that Anderson Silva needs to challenge himself some more,” White pondered. “Maybe we need to get another fight at 205 with somebody who poses a serious threat to him.”

But there is one elephant in the room – a Canadian elephant.

“I don’t like to look past guys but if George St Pierre gets past Thiago Alves then who knows? Maybe we do Anderson Silva Vs. George St Pierre in Toronto?” White said as he dangled the golden carrot in front of the press.

“I haven’t thought about what I’m going to do next,” Silva said. “But it looks like Dana White has something planned for me.”

Now that’s a fight that is sure to have fireworks.

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