To football, wrestling and weightlifting,
However, if in addition to fulfilling personal dreams Saturday in Auburn, Ala., the 23-year-old congenital amputee hoped to prove he should be licensed to fight by a reputable regulatory body, namely his home state of Georgia, Maynard did little to help himself.
Without such an incredible, well-polished story, the circumstances of a man missing forearms, hands, thighs, knees and shins fighting an able-bodied opponent would have demanded comparisons to some of the most tasteless promotional ventures of all time.
While Maynard's involvement -- and that alone -- tempered much of the "carnival" talk, I doubt his efforts will be well received a second or third time.
Judging by e-mails I received in the wake of Maynard's three-round decision loss to
I fear Couture may be correct: Maynard will press forward, as he did early in his wrestling career, and fight in unsanctioned bouts in front of onlookers hoping to see a wreck. He wouldn't do this to draw attention to himself, I don't think. It would simply be a continuation of the long windy path he and his father took when he first began wrestling at age 11, when the lesson was hammered home that circumstances don't determine effort.
Credit to Mayhem for submitting
I don't agree with you on the "scared" assessment. More like "not interested." I can't say I blame Silva. This is, after all, a sport. Or it's supposed to be a sport. Who cares how you get to a destination, so long as you get there first, right?
Some fighters risk everything to avoid carrying a reputation as a boring fighter. Others couldn't care less. Silva seems to be in the camp that doesn't mind criticism, as long as he continues to win and retain the belt.
The fact is, Silva broke a record for consecutive victories in the UFC against Leites. During Silva's stretch of nine wins in a row, how many were unacceptable performances? Maybe one, against
Extra credit should go to great fighters willing to beat opponents at their strengths.
If Silva doesn't meet the challenge of his contemporaries, his spotty timidity will be remembered just as strongly as his pinpoint violence. Of course, it's quite possible he doesn't care either way.
There are problems with Silva at 205. First and foremost, he's close friends with
In the crowded light heavyweight mix, you're right, Silva would find plenty of challenges, and he may very well excel at all of them. But I'm a fan of him at middleweight, even if it doesn't seem like there are many challengers right now. It's incumbent on the UFC to deliver credible title contenders. Leites appeared to make the grade, yet, stylistically, it was an awful fight. Against