Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC
Watch enough MMA fights and eventually you become numb to all the terror and violence at their heart. You start to see past the tattoos and shaved heads and bloody noses and world-lashing anger and begin to recognize the technique and the art behind the madness and the human beings behind the brutes. Soon you forget you’re watching fights at all. At this point in my life, a UFC event doesn’t feel much more like violence than a basketball game or a sketch comedy show.
There are always the exceptions, though, and every MMA fan has their bugbears, their bogeymen, their fighters that seem to tap into some primordial fear in them. No matter how many fights you watch these fighters in and no matter how many interviews they sit for, you never quite lose your fear of them. They tap into something both deep in your psyche and early in your MMA-watching career, when every fight seemed like the most terrifying/thrilling thing in the world and proof of the fragility of human civilization.
Thiago Silva was that fighter for me. Despite the fact that he was never the best fighter in his division, much less the UFC, ….View original article