x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Anderson wins but fans unimpressed with Silva patter

The Brazilian fighter retains his UFC belt at Yas Island, but his arrogant display leaves fans nonplussed.

ABU DHABI // Brazilian fighter Anderson 'The Spider' Silva retained his UFC middleweight belt last night, thoroughly outclassing compatriot Demian Maia at Yas Island's UFC112: Invincible. The champion's arrogant and elusive display, however, left the Abu Dhabi crowd - who switched their support to the bloodied Maia midway through the fight - distinctly unimpressed. With Maia looking to take the fight to the ground, Silva's superior take-down defence resulted in an uninspiring stalemate. And having taunted and toyed with Maia throughout the one-sided fight, Silva was eventually ordered to stop dancing around the cage and engage by the referee. During his victory speech, Silva was shouted down by a furious crowd. "I'm sorry, I wasn't as humble as I should have been, I will be better next time," his manager Ed Soares said, translating from the fighter's Portuguese. UFC president Dana White, who traditionally hands champions their belts at the end of fights, left the bout during the fourth round. White was still seething during the post-fight press conference. "It was a disgrace," he said. "To end this night the way we did was embarrassing - I apologise to every one who came to the fight. I will, I don't know how yet, but I will make this up to the fans. Asked by The National whether putting Silva into a fight with welterweight champion Georges St Pierre - who the crowd chanted for throughout the main event - was now a priority, White was ambiguous. "Who wants to see Anderson fight after that fight? He could be the first champion in history to be fighting on the preliminary card."

emegson@thenational.ae