"The Spider" Anderson Silva may have gotten too carried away with his showboat antics at UFC 162, but give Chris Weidman credit where it’s due. Silva has leveraged those same tactics to great success in the past. This is a chronicle of Anderson Silva clowning his opponents as told by GIFs.
1.) The Rich Franklin Rematch at UFC 77
The first appearance (in the UFC, anyway) of The Spider’s “you can’t hit me" dance was during the rematch of Silva vs. Franklin at UFC 77. Prompting a big “Oh, my!" from commentator Mike Goldberg, Silva found immediate success with the technique, too. It opened Franklin up for a big flurry that almost finished him before he was saved by the bell.Thus began Silva’s evolution from “amazing counter-striker" to “amazing counter-striker with godlike ability to mentally crush opponents and destroy their will to fight."
2.) Versus Thales Leites at UFC 97
By UFC 97, Anderson Silva had taken the #1 P4P ranking, had cleared out his division of all the big-name contenders, and had even dominated a fight at light-heavyweight. Perhaps Silva felt he had nothing to prove against Leites, because he really took it easy on him. Silva made it look effortless to win five rounds against the contender in this widely panned performance.
Shakin’ at Leites: Silva started getting impatient in the 4th round and jazzed things up a little.
The hands-down baiting of his opponent would become a staple of most of Anderson Silva’s fights.
3.) Versus Forrest Griffin at UFC 101
Anderson Silva’s second foray into the 205-lb. division was not just a one-sided blowout, it was his first taste of what it’s like to completely break an opponent’s will to fight. Forrest Griffin was so embarrassed, he immediately ran from the cage to the back after the fight — it was probably the worst night of his life.
The taunting begins. Looks like “come here and fight me!"
Silva lowers hands and relies on his range and head movement.
The first of several “holy ••••" moments in this fight. Now that Griffin has been sufficiently provoked, he tries to land a few shots. Wrong! “The Spider" dips, dodges, and answers with a right hand that knocks Griffin down.
Silva offers Griffin a condescending hand up to his feet. Griffin accepts the fist bump, seemingly unaware that Silva is mocking him. He probably realized it a moment later.
Griffin attempts another flurry and gets KO’d by a very casual-looking right hand only 3:19 into the first round.
Slow-mo replay of the KO. Joe Rogan said: “I love Forrest Griffin, but this is probably the most embarrassing knockout we’ve ever seen."
Versus Demian Maia at UFC 112
It’s fair to assume that Silva went into this fight with every intention of humiliating Maia the same way he humiliated Forrest Griffin. It’s also fair to assume that he had specifically trained those tactics because the taunting began halfway through the first round, continued throughout the second round, and continued far enough into the third round for Silva to be certain he’d won the round on the judges’ cards.
After that, however, Silva disengaged for the rest of the fight. Whether he thought that Maia wasn’t worthy or the Abu Dhabi heat had gotten to him after his capoeira routine, nobody knows. Perhaps he just thought he had done enough and never wanted to take that long-ass flight to the middle east ever again.
Still, the first three rounds produced enough “are you kidding me?" moments to consider this fight the “Sergeant Peppers" of Anderson Silva fights.
The taunting begins with Silva kneeling and presenting his head as a target. Will Maia Fall for it?
Silva starts opening up. Front kick, taunt, outside leg kick.
The now-classic hands-down stance. Can you hit me, Maia?
Now he’s using hip thrusts? Maia must be getting pissed… or scared.
More taunting in the 2nd round. This is getting ridiculous!
You scared, Maia?
Let’s do this! Taunting is less dangerous, more flashy than actually fighting.
Even more taunting — getting impatient now. Come here and fight me!
Finally gets Maia to throw down, dodges his punches like “WHAT?"
Silva menaces Maia with aggressive, unconventional moves.
Anderson even tries to get referee Dan Miragliotta into the act by “hiding" behind him. The rest of the fight was boring and Dana White was PISSED. He actually walked out during the later rounds rather than sticking around to put the belt around the champion’s waist, as is the usual custom.
Versus Yushin Okami at UFC 134
This was like an all-around “greatest hits" fight for Anderson Silva that showcased his abilities in most every aspect of the fight game. For his part, Okami kept the pressure up — only allowing Silva to begin taunting in the 2nd round.
Hands-down baiting Okami, scores a knockdown with the right.
More hands-down baiting with a counter right hook. Nasty!
Versus Stephan Bonnar at UFC 153
That this fight actually happened is still puzzling to MMA fans. Bonnar wasn’t the caliber fighter that deserved to be anywhere near Silva, but the promotion’s angle was… “well, he’s bigger!"
Anderson clearly relished the opportunity to have some fun at Bonnar’s expense, even debuting a new taunt: the “I’m gonna stand right here with my back against the cage" taunt. You’ll see what I mean.
Silva pushes Bonnar out of a clinch, then decides “you know what? you want me against the cage, fine. Have it your way."
Pushes off another clinch, decides “I’m not leaving this spot."
Dodges a nice Bonnar spinning back kick! ….Dutifully returns to his new favorite spot. You gotta be kidding!
Not a taunt per se, but I love this moment Silva takes to reassure his corner: “Don’t worry, I’ve got this."
That’s right — Anderson is so confident against Bonnar, he’s going to stand with his back against the cage with his HANDS DOWN, and just dodge punches left and right. A few moments later he scored an incredible KO victory with a vicious knee to the solar plexus.
Anderson went further to tempt fate than he ever had before in the final fight of his UFC win streak.
Versus Chris Weidman at UFC 162
It was great while it lasted. Anderson Silva’s counter-punching style was a perfect fit for his penchant to clown his opponents and provoke their attack, and he had worked it into his style flawlessly.
Before it all comes crashing down for Silva in the 2nd round, it’s obvious that he wanted to break Weidman with the same brand of psychological warfare that had served him so well.
He wants to do the same rope-a-dope stuff against Weidman that he did against Bonnar! Someone told Anderson that this is an actual title fight, right?
Hands-down taunting really is an Anderson Silva staple. He loves it.
Are you having a laugh? Anderson have no hespect for Weidman’s offense.
Even more hands-down taunting, complete with pointing at self like saying “c’mon, hit me." Nasty counter left.
Anderson even applauds Weidman’s effort.
Joe Rogan thought that he was offering up his right thigh for strikes, but I think he was saying “go ahead, shoot" as in, “shoot for the takedown." Could it be that Anderson had prepared some new move to clown his opponent from the ground?
More of the “bring it!" stuff toward the end of round one. At this point, Silva should have realized that he was getting hit for doing this. I think his dedication to breaking Weidman may have been greater than his dedication to beating Weidman.
Anderson gives chase with a flurry, Opens his arms like “don’t be scared, homie!"
Gives Weidman a condescending hug and kiss that Weidman seems to appreciate.
Talking trash before the 2nd round starts.
A brand new taunt move! Anderson debuted the “wobbly legs" taunt here, mere seconds into the second round. It would be the first of two times he uses the taunt in this fight.
Anderson Silva flows LIKE WATER to dodge Weidman’s punches.
More wobbly legs. Oh, wait! WTF??? OMG! OMG! OMG!
Slow-mo of Anderson doing the wobbly-legs act and getting caught. Congrats to our NEW champion, Chris Weidman!