Silva, who entered the fight three pounds over the contracted light heavyweight limit of 205 pounds, was subsequently fined 25-percent of his show money and the fight was allowed to continue.
It turns out weight wasn’t the issue on Wednesday night, but instead it was an obvious lack of cardio that became the narrative in what was an uninspiring fight.
And that’s being nice.
Round one opened with a slowed pace, as a visibly soft-around-the-middle Silva pushed forward with a stiff jab and well-timed leg kicks. Early in the round, Hamill scored a brief takedown. Unfortunately for the 37-year-old, it would be his lone takedown of the fight with any significance.
By the end of the first round, Silva had developed a thick sheen of sweat across his back and was taking large gulps of air as he retreated to his corner.
In fairness, he did win the round.
The second stanza saw Silva land his most poignant string of offense, when he ripped a brutal combination of hooks that left Hamill crumpled on the mat, directly at the Brazilian’s feet. However, Silva couldn’t muster up enough energy to finish the Ohio-native, and we were on to round three.
The third round was a conundrum of meager punches, plodding movement, and little to no power from either combatant. At one point in the third, Hamill was so beat up and exhausted that he stood in the middle of the cage like a tree, hands down, as Silva peppered him with leg kicks, body shots, and jabs to the face.
In a fight that left both fighters winded and gulping for air, Hamill survived the fifteen minutes, but lost. Silva survived the fifteen minutes and won a unanimous decision. However, with the blown weight cut and the lackluster performance inside the cage, it doesn’t take an expert to surmise that UFC president Dana White will not look fondly on Silva’s performance.
As the old adage goes “a win is a win,” but at UFC Fight Night 29, it might not be enough to save Thiago Silva’s job.
(Follow @RyanMcKinnell on Twitter)
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