Is "The Spider" Back?

By: BryceCopyright UFC

The co-main event of an overall meh UFC 208 featured Anderson Silva and Derek Brunson in a middleweight bout that had critics questioning if it was time for Anderson to retire. After all, he's 41 and on a 2 fight skid. He was determined to prove them wrong. 

The beginning of the fight showed that Brunson had a great deal of respect for Silva, as he did not charge forward as he had done in fights past. He stayed patient and there was a lengthy feeling out process. The end result of this was with Anderson, known for his counter striking, advancing and pushing pack the typically aggressive Brunson.

Even with this new-found aggression, it seemed like he wasn't winning the fight. Brunson was able to land two takedowns and won a majority of exchanges when the distance closed. The judges begged to differ, awarding Silva a win via unanimous decision. Before everyone hops back on the Anderson Silva hype train again, a couple things need to be set in perspective.

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1. He got out struck. And by a lot

Brunson landed 118 strikes compared to Anderson's 54. He more than doubled him. Brunson was also more accurate with his strikes. It's obvious that Father Time has begun to do his work on the "Spider," and he seemed to never have Brunson in any serious trouble. 

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2. It was an awful decision

Looking at the stats post-fight, you have to wonder what fight the judges saw. On my personal scorecard, I had Brunson winning all 3 rounds soundly in what would be a marquee win for the Middleweight contender. I could see an argument for Silva maybe winning a single round, but not 2 or all 3 like one judge had it. I truly hope Brunson plans to appeal this to get it turned into a No Contest. 

Even with those things in mind, it looks like Anderson is still good enough to compete on the biggest stage. He has a few things to keep working on, and he may have to change his game to more of a grappling one, but I truly think the "Spider" is back and is a legitimate fighter in the 185 lb division.  Follow us on Twitter and Instagram @UntitledMMA, and like us on Facebook as "Untitled MMA"

Follow Bryce on Twitter @TheRunnerBryce

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