THE IMPORTANCE OF ANDERSON SILVA'S RETURN
"Losing is a part of life, of any sport, and not even the biggest icons of any discipline are able to maintain their undefeated records eternally. Prior to December 28th, 2013, Anderson Silva had already tasted the bitter flavor of his own mortality with the knockout he suffered against Chris Weidman six months earlier. But the sound of snapping bone and the agonizing screams coming from mixed martial arts’ greatest fighter to date left a permanent mark on fans of the sports, and on the UFC itself. In a way, Silva’s absence from the UFC since his injury has demonstrated just how important he is to the UFC, and perhaps that the promotion needs him more than he needs them.
"Silva is responsible for the proliferation of mixed martial arts and the UFC in Brazil. Until 2011, when he faced compatriot Vitor Belfort, mixed martial arts still remained in the periphery of public spectatorship. The largest nation in South America hosted seven events last year and the year before, and that is all due to the popularity of Anderson Silva, on account of his extremely successful career and spectacular performances. Brazilian fans like that kind of fare, of having a Brazilian champion that is dominant and notorious—don’t forget the national soccer team boasts a whopping five World Cup championships—someone like Anderson was until he met the formidable Chris Weidman in the Octagon."