Mark La Monica is the deputy sports editor for cross media at Newsday and writes about mixed martial
Not good if you're Maia, attempting to win the UFC middleweight championship belt against the best pound-for-pound mixed martial artist in the world.
Silva, the champion since October 2006, was bored with an inferior opponent. Of course, every middleweight is inferior to Silva.
He showboated around the octagon, at times looking like a breakdancer in the subway.
Why, you ask? Because he can. He's that good.
Heck, even referee Dan Miragliotta made more contact with Silva than Maia did during his victory by unanimous decision.
Silva is, as the UFC 112 posters said, invincible. Seven straight title defenses for Silva, 11 straight wins in the UFC. Both are promotional records - for any weight class. So what are we to do with the man who has essentially reduced the UFC to four competitive divisions?
Make him gain some weight. Or make him lose some weight. Either way, Silva needs to get out of the 185-pound division. There are no more worthy opponents. No more viable matchups that excite us. No more ways to squeeze a few bones out of our wallets without someone calling the police.
Accept it. Move on.
Silva should compete at light heavyweight (205 pounds) all the time now, not just dip into the division here and there (right, Forrest Griffin?). Silva has said recently that he'd even consider a move to heavyweight, or perhaps a drop to welterweight (170) to fight champion Georges St-Pierre, the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter.
That's a fight fans want to watch. Think those pay-per-view buys wouldn't reach seven digits?
UFC president Dana White said recently that the days of holding one title and fighting at another weight class are over. If you want to move up (or down) in weight, you must relinquish the title and start again.
If Silva thinks twice about the weight cut, put him in a title bout against the Lyoto Machida-Mauricio "Shogun" Rua winner from UFC 113 in Montreal next month. Silva had said numerous times that he won't fight Machida, his "brother." Fine. Fight Rua. Fight the Quinton "Rampage" Jackson-Rashad Evans winner from UFC 114. Heck, throw Chuck Liddell in there for crazy striking excitement.
Just give us something more palatable than Maia. No disrespect to the masterful Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, but Maia got this fight because original opponent Vitor Belfort injured his shoulder during training and top contender Chael Sonnen was too banged up from his last fight in February.
As for the belt Silva would vacate, here's a funky notion: Set up an eight-fighter tournament that plays out over the course of six to eight months (barring major injury). Use a Fight Night or two for first-round fights. Or make it a huge pay-per-view. That could rejuvenate a middleweight division rendered obsolete by Silva.