Henderson: He didn't want to fight me again
The last time Anderson Silva lost, George W. Bush was still in office. Rich Franklin was on top of the world as an Ace Ventura look-alike and middleweight champion. And no one had a clue who Ronda Rousey was.
That was back in January 2006, and since then "The Spider" has gone on to rack up 16 straight wins and become known as the greatest fighter alive, a feat Dan Henderson says has been in part due to manipulation.
"I think Anderson, for the last five years, has tried to pick and choose who he fights and manipulates the UFC a little bit. He didn't want to fight Chael again after the first time, and, you know, obviously did after a while. He didn't want to fight me again. He kind of tries to stay away from guys that are dangerous or have a dangerous style for him and, you know, especially because he's looking towards the end of his career and he wants to, he wants to retire without losing again. It's not necessarily how champ should be, but, at the same time he is trying to be smart about things. So, you know, it's all debatable."
This is not the first time Silva has been criticized for picking his opponents. Dana White has stated that it's not always easy to deal with the Brazilian and recently the UFC's biggest challenge has been finding an opponent for Silva, who was said to be seeking a fighter with name value such as Cung Le, however many cite the former Sanda champion's credibility as not yet deserving as others such as Chris Weidman.
Weidman, who is undefeated, has been calling out Silva for months, stating that he was the man to beat Silva because he would be a bad match up for the champion, a proclamation the UFC analyst Kenny Florian has also agreed with agreed with.
Henderson also went on to state that despite being open to fighting him again, he sees Luke Rockhold as the man to beat Silva:
"He's probably the only guy I would drop (weight) for, but, I am very comfortable at 205 pounds and there's plenty of guys for me to fight there. We'll see what happens in the future, but, I don't plan on losing at 205 at all. I would like to see Luke Rockhold fight Anderson, as a fan. He's coming up here to help me train for this one as well. He's been up for a couple fights as well, so, I'd like to see that fight. That would be interesting. Luke's a decent wrestler and good enough on his feet to where he's not going to be picked apart by Anderson without really making Anderson know he's in a fight."
No MMA fan or fighter can deny the grandeur that is Silva's skill set, but within any combat promotion, a champion's one job under any circumstance is to take on any and all challengers. With Rockhold set to fight Vitor Belfort in April, it's becoming more and more evident that the only man ready to challenge Silva is Weidman, whether the champion likes it or not.
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