UFC 97 Mixed Martial ArtsBoo. Boring. Bulls#@t.

That’s all you could hear throughout the Bell Centre at UFC97 during the main event.

The round would begin, Thales Leites would slide to the ground on his back like a dog looking for a belly rub and Anderson Silva would stare at him until he eventually decided to kick his shins a few times. Round over. Repeat.

No amount of vodka red bulls could make that fight interesting. Trust me, I tried.

Coming off the Patrick Cote snoozer of a bout with one of the most anticlimactic finishes in recent history (only if Cote had to retire because of excessive boogers could it have been worse), we wanted to see The Spider tear through his opponent. Instead, in the same arena that was host just one year ago to one of the most inspiring ovations in MMA history, we got a dud. A big dud.

As fans of MMA and the UFC, let’s take a giant step back here before we paint Silva with the “his fights suck” brush. Anderson Silva has handily beat Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, Travis Lutter and Chris Leben on his way to compiling a 24-4 record in MMA. That’s impressive by any standard. Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt that it is harder for him to get up for a fight when the odds of his competitor taking him out are minimal. And if someone wants to take the fight to the ground because they like their chances better on the ground, isn’t it fair to offer up that they should take their opponent down instead of crawling around on their backs hoping to receive a King Kong Bundy splash?

On the ground or standing up, Leites wasn’t going to win this one so who really cares that Silva didn’t want to go to the ground voluntarily.

Silva will be back and the pressure will be on him to put up a more entertaining performance – but don’t count on him deviating from a successful game plan for the sake of a few cheers.

Nobody ever called Lennox Lewis exciting, but he was the champ for a long time.

A smart Anderson Silva will achieve the same results.

Looking forward to Silva vs. GSP in 2010….Bell Centre anyone?