At UFC 112 today, Anderson Silva maintained his middleweight title by absolutely working over the hapless challenger, Demian Maia. Silva turned Maia's face into a leaking bag of chunky salsa, and at no point did Maia have anything better than a puncher's chance of winning the match.â†µ
And yet, fans were dismayed. That's because Silva never knocked out or submitted Maia, opting instead to taunt Maia (who, to his credit, kept fighting), stall, hide, and let the fight go to decision. Silva won unanimously, of course. But that ridiculously one-sided fight led most in the building to believe that a knockout was inevitable. That includes Dana White himself, who went over to Silva's corner to give manager Ed Soares the business before the final round.â†µ
This lack of action is hardly a new development for the sport; at the previous event, UFC 111, Georges St. Pierre infuriated fans in Newark by not finishing off Dan Hardy in their title match. Granted, that's because Hardy got out of two holds that would have made nearly anybody tap out, but still. And as for Silva, as Cage Writer notes, this is the third time he's pulled something like this in a recent UFC bout.â†µ
And it's a shame, because tactically, there's no sense in a title holder gambling and forcing the action in a fight that he's already dominating. And yet, if a fight's lopsided after one round, most fans would prefer not to watch the same dominance for the next 20 minutes if nothing's going to change. So you can't really fault anybody's actions here; it's a clash of differing self-interests.