There were so many ways I could have seen Anderson Silva and Chris Weidman's rematch going, but that definitely wasn't one of them.
I have long been a detractor of Anderson Silva as I thought that any good wrestler with some semblance of submission defense should be able to take him out as long as they stuck with a good game plan. I was wrong, because it didn't take a good game plan; it took a perfect game plan. Anderson Silva is so dangerous on his feet that every second that a person spends standing up is a second where they have a high risk of being knocked out. I wrote about his greatness before this fight and how excited I was for this fight, but now I am left with nothing but this empty feeling.
I'll admit I didn't see it at first. I thought that I missed him getting clipped, and then when I saw him holding his leg, I knew it was bad. Then I heard his screams. God, those screams. It was as disturbing as a child's scream, and this is not meant to compare Silva to a child, but to recognize that somebody that tough to be in that much pain is just sickening.
Then I saw the replay. And my worst thoughts were confirmed. His leg snapped in half. After that happened, nothing else mattered. Even Weidman knew, he gave a quick raise of the arms, but then went to check on Silva before being shooed away so the medical staff could take care of him.
The UFC crowd is not known for their sympathy, but everyone knew that this was terrible. As Weidman had his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, there were no cheers, there were no boos, there was just ambient noise that seemed neither positive or negative, it just was.
No matter what happens from here, he's the greatest fighter we have ever seen, and it's going to take an incredible comeback from Georges St. Pierre or an incredible run from Jon Jones for anyone to challenge that position in the near future. The man was made to fight and reached his highest potential. So very few in any occupation can say that.
This is an unfair scenario for Anderson Silva. This shouldn't have been how his career ended. He was so great for so long. I got angry watching him, because everything he did looked so easy that it made me sick. I could make up a game specifically designed to my strengths and still not be as great as he was at mixed martial arts. Even last night, I had that feeling of inevitability that Silva was going to start picking apart Weidman after surviving that first round. He never stopped being great. Instead, greatness was taken away from him.
I have been trying to figure out the right way to end this, but I'm at a loss for words. I guess that's fitting; Anderson Silva's career was made by leaving fans speechless.