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UnderGround Forums >> Anderson Silva's Weaknesses


7/1/12 6:57 PM
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Jack Slack
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Edited: 07/01/12 7:04 PM
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Hey guys,
I've been asked to do this one quite a bit, and I know it's going to start some heated discussion from Silva and Sonnen fans, but I have tried my best to work with the footage available. This is the most detailed piece I have produced since
Analyzing Fedor: The Striking of the Emperor. I'll state right off the bat that I idolize Anderson Silva, as most strikers do, and this is purely an analytical piece. I have no pick in the fight and I support neither side.

Hope you don't mind clicking the link, and if you're a huge Silva fan, give it a read before you flame! There's some stuff about his game in here that most haven't covered.

Cheers,
Jack





Over the past few weeks regular readers have heard me gush praise over Anderson Silva's phenomenal stand up game over three volumes in anticipation of his rematch with the middleweight division's resident braggart, Chael Sonnen. In part 1 of my Analyzing Anderson series, I dissected Silva's wonderful counter jab versus Yushin Okami, in part 2 I laid out his counter right hook against Forrest Griffin, and in part 3 I divulged some ofAnderson's entrances to the Thai Plumm against Rich Franklin. In this part of our series, with the Silva - Sonnen rematch just days away, I'm going to do something very dangerous and difficult - point out the weaknesses of Anderson's stand up game. There is no denying that Anderson Silva is perhaps the finest striker in MMA, and to find exploitable loopholes in his overall game is a hard thing to do, but he is human, and they are there.

Some of Silva's suspected weaknesses are discussed much more than others - the debate over Silva's submission defense, for instance, has been rehashed a thousand times. This is due to his two most notable losses coming by submission to Japanese journeymen. More recently, however, Silva has proven by submitting Travis Lutter that he can hang with Jiu Jitsu black belts on the ground, and while the idea of submitting Silva should not be ruled out, he is certainly not going to be submitted by a low quality submission fighter such as Chael Sonnen or Yushin Okami.

If Silva has proven himself such a difficult man to submit, why has the submission defense question been so overplayed? Almost entirely because most in the media are afraid to analyze the holes in the man's stand up, and indeed many in the community would not know how to begin doing so. The two losses on Anderson's record which came inside the distance (and weren't caused by a DQ) are very easy to grab on to. He was finished both times by submission, therefore his submission defense must be the problem.  This logic is not suitable for analyzing the areas in which Anderson can be exploited. To really understand and pinpoint the loopholes in Silva's remarkable game it is necessary to actually analyze his fights and the evoluton of his style, instead of focusing attention on the numbers on his record.

Anderson Silva is an amazing fighter, one of the greatest of all time, and the fact that in so many bouts in the UFC we have only seen flashes of vulnerability only makes the task of analyzing his game objectively even harder. To understand Anderson's vulnerabilities we must go back to the beginnings of his career, when he was taken down often, and analyze how he changed this. We will discuss through this article how it was Anderson's change in tactics, not developments in his wrestling ability, that enabled Silva to keep fights standing against elite grapplers where before he was being taken down by journeymen. Silva's game has changed significantly over the years to be based off of a few strategic choices and moves.

We will not dwell on the submission defense argument in any great depth but rather on Anderson Silva's:

  • Refusal to Lead

  • Open Guard Takedown Defense

  • Expectancy of a Timid Opponent

Continues with HUGE amounts of pictures at:
 
http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2012/7/1/3124601/ufc-148-judo-chop-anderson-silva-chael-sonnen-weaknesses#storyjump

   
7/1/12 7:06 PM
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Carne de cavalo é o melhor
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In Phone Post
7/1/12 7:11 PM
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UGCTT_Benwahwah IsABenevolentGod
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Andy's weakness?

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7/1/12 7:16 PM
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Authority Figure
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Edited: 07/02/12 9:53 AM
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In. And I gotta say you're probably one of the few people I would trust to write on the subject w/o any politics involved. Will comment once I've read it.

After reading the article, I gotta say you make some compelling arguments. In particular, while some will suggest that you have devalued his skill, in my mind you elevated it. It takes an incredible discipline of ego to understand what your weaknesses are, counter that and still find ways to win.
7/1/12 7:27 PM
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Masakatsu Funaki
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Just read the entire thing on BE. That might be the best MMA article I've ever read. Phone Post
7/1/12 7:29 PM
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UGCTT_LnPninja
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As Anderson's biggest nthugger around here, this was an interesting read. You really captured the minor differences in how Anderson behaves against different opponents, and how Sonnen could exploit that again. 

Awesome write up. Possibly my favorite in your recent wave.
7/1/12 7:29 PM
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MdGeist
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Just finished reading it, probably your best work so far Jack and your timing for UFC 148 was perfect.

Silva better hope Chael doesn't read this lol
7/1/12 7:32 PM
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Jack Slack
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MdGeist - Just finished reading it, probably your best work so far Jack and your timing for UFC 148 was perfect.

Silva better hope Chael doesn't read this lol

 Haha... cheers man.

The likelihood is that this info is already out of date! Like Shogun vs Machida 2 - both guys had to change up their strategies because they already knew the plan of the other man!
7/1/12 7:43 PM
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Sofa King Cool
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Cool story, bro.

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7/1/12 7:54 PM
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MdGeist
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Jack Slack - 
MdGeist - Just finished reading it, probably your best work so far Jack and your timing for UFC 148 was perfect.

Silva better hope Chael doesn't read this lol

 Haha... cheers man.

The likelihood is that this info is already out of date! Like Shogun vs Machida 2 - both guys had to change up their strategies because they already knew the plan of the other man!<br type="_moz" />

Yeah it is late for changes now, but if you had come out with this article of couple months ago, more than likely someone in Sonnen's camp would have read it and implemented your analysis into his gameplan.
7/1/12 8:01 PM
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dahosse
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Good article Phone Post
7/1/12 8:04 PM
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BuyTheTicketTakeTheRide
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Later Phone Post
7/1/12 8:11 PM
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AGC IV
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Great analysis Phone Post
7/1/12 8:11 PM
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UGCTT_the people's cecil
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 Great article as always. Vote up
7/1/12 8:14 PM
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UGCTT Captain America EBTT
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For later Phone Post
7/1/12 8:14 PM
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goku
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I could see chael subbing Anderson with an arm triangle Phone Post
7/1/12 8:21 PM
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Choochy
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goku - I could see chael subbing Anderson with an arm triangle Phone Post
When pigs fly. My bulldog rolled off the bed last night so I saw a pig fly, Anderson is fucked :(

My money is still on him though, flying to Vegas in 2 days :) Phone Post
7/1/12 8:58 PM
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Jack Slack
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Masakatsu Funaki -  Just read the entire thing on BE. That might be the best MMA article I've ever read. Phone Post

 That is awesome high praise!
7/1/12 9:01 PM
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Darup
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 post the rest of it here BE sucks
7/1/12 9:03 PM
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Jack Slack
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Darup -  post the rest of it here BE sucks

 Afraid I can't - contractual reasons.

But me and Crooklyn are making it better ;)
7/1/12 9:08 PM
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Smith1234
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Thanks for another great article.
7/1/12 9:21 PM
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DaemonDragon
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Brilliant article. Especially love how you point out that his hips are back on his lead jabs in anticipation of the takedown, but removing power from the strike.

Also a good point about Chael's southpaw stance posing problems for Anderson wrestling-wise. Left hands are also what I believe Anderson is most vulnerable too on the feet - Franklin landed some good lefts, as did Maia, and of course Chael caught him with a couple. It's one of the reasons I thought Vitor dangerous for him, but alas that fight ended all too quickly.

Although I don't see how you list his refusal to lead (an accurate statement) as a "weakness". As you yourself go over, it has improved his TDD. It might lead to boring segments of fights against ground fighters, but it is not a weakness.

Think you also overstate Chael's success rate with the takedowns. He was only 3 for 7. Anderson's problem was he couldn't get back up. Also his upper body was so stiff - I suspect Anderson sans-rib injury will have a significantly easier time avoiding Sonnen's shots, via both better distance control and a better sprawl.
7/1/12 9:30 PM
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UGCTT_AdamD
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For later Phone Post
7/1/12 10:06 PM
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UGCTT_EnderTL
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Subb Phone Post
7/1/12 10:24 PM
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UGCTT_FryedTakayama
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. Phone Post

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