One thing I’ve come to realize in covering sports for the last decade and a half: fans love dominance. We love dynasties. We love Tiger Woods for it. Used to love Tyson for it. Domination makes us talk, shows us all how to rise up to a higher level in whatever we do.
The Yankees and Celtics will forever be both loved and hated by the masses for their run of championships. Take this year’s Patriots and their complete destruction of teams throughout the regular season. It’s no coincidence that this year’s Super Bowl was the most watched event in television history. People still talk about the ’85 Bears for the way they smashed offenses.
We don’t love parity. We want to see greatness. We yearn to be witness to something special, something other generations can ask us questions about the way we asked our dads and granddads about Marciano, DiMaggio, Wilt, Mantle, and Louis.
We watch to see who will add to the legacy as much as we watch to see who will end the dominance, spoil history, and start anew. We want to be there while the ink is still wet on the pages of sports history. The world of MMA could very well be in the throng of one of those dominating performances our grandkids will ask us about well after MMA is accepted as a mainstay of mainstream sports.
Could we be starting the age of the Spider? An era of dominance that will long go unparalleled? After his complete dominance of Dan Henderson a few weeks ago, Anderson Silva very well may be on a streak that could go unmatched for years. As the sport grows, the distance between fi ghters should shrink. Full scale, unadulterated runs of dominance like what Silva appears to be embarking upon could be few and far between.
Nothing around the corner even smells of an upset. There does not appear to be a Buster Douglas awaiting his chance at a 42-1 shock, because Silva has more mental stability and discipline than Tyson ever dreamed of possessing.
Is there a fi ghter currently in high school, who four years from now will become the next great middleweight? Heck, is there even a 205-pounder any of us believe could drop down and take the champ out? Not after what he did to Henderson, and Rich Franklin twice before that.
I’ve been thinking lately, what it would take to beat this man? What kind of fi ghter do we have to build in order to fl ush the Spider down the waterspout? And even with this creation, would it defeat the man who right now appears undefeatable? Let’s at least have some fun and take a stab at it.
Our Spider-cide would contain the mental part of Randy Couture’s game. The former UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight king comes up with game plans that never cease to amaze. If there were one guy who may be able to fi nd some sort of crack in Silva’s game, it would be Couture. Plus, his mental strength in his training is hard to fi nd on another human being. I’d probably take his heart too.
We’d also need the Jiu-Jitsu of BJ Penn. It’s between him and Minotauro, but Penn’s may be a tad bit craftier in the cage. Can’t go wrong either way. Also, add in Cro Cop’s left high kick. Not a bad weapon to have.
Time to throw in Fedor Emelianenko’s ground and pound. His arms are so damn long he gets that full torque. He throws punches at such a furious pace, from so many different angles – that’s what we need when we get Silva to the ground. I’ll also take Fedor’s calmness before and during the fi ght.
What else? How about the brute strength of Brock Lesnar. Say what you will, but this man is one of the strongest men in the sport. Also, let’s include the conditioning and pace of Georges St. Pierre. We need a guy who seems to get stronger as the rounds go by, to hopefully wear Silva down. Since Silva doesn’t seem to tire – not that he has much time to anyway – we need to match his endurance. St. Pierre is perfect for this. Probably take St. Pierre’s takedowns as well.
Don’t forget Chuck Liddell’s counterpunching. Not sure we’ll get the Spider with a one-punch lucky shot, but Liddell’s punches certainly have a way of making the best of the best wish they hadn’t gotten trapped into trying to strike with him.
Urijah Faber’s explosiveness, plus Quinton Jackson’s slams, round out our new warrior’s attributes. With Faber’s non-stop aggression and Jackson’s slams, we can do some damage… can’t we? Jackson’s slams may be the most effective weapon we have, although he’s going to have to be careful of that Thai clinch that got him in PRIDE.
So there you have it. If we pit our new fi ghter, Ranrijah LidCroLesdor Jack St. Penn against Anderson Silva, would we win?
We’re still not sure…which is just the way we’ll like it in the end. Something to tell our grandkids about.