One fan makes the case in a Fan Post over at Bloody Elbow:
Anderson Silva is purposely exposing the piss poor selection of opponents the UFC has offered him over the last two fights. He’s purposely not finishing them to prove a point and I do believe he’s intentionally not being too aggressive to expose his opponents lack of drive to try and “fight” him. I think he is now of the mentality that I’m the champ all I have to do is DEFEND my title. You as a challenger are the one who needs to make [an] effort to assert yourself, if you don’t I won’t either.
I think this is pretty accurate. Whether you agree with Silva’s possible mindset or not, it at least puts some logic and reasoning behind the odd spectacles that have been his past two fights.
Silva is the type of fighter that wants to test himself against the best. The mere fact that he is considered by most to be the pound-for-pound king yet his last three opponents have been James Irvin, Patrick Cote, and Thales Leites is a travesty in and of itself. Say what you will about Silva’s lack of aggressiveness against the latter two men, but he made them both look like children.
We all like to see our fighters go for the kill and pull the trigger when the situation arises. We especially expect a certain level of aggressiveness and explosiveness from Anderson Silva. At the same time, while fighters like GSP and BJ Penn get to fight each other in mega-fights on Super Bowl weekend, Anderson Silva is stuck fighting guys who might otherwise be on the undercard.
Does it excuse his behavior and his failure to put on an aggressive performance? No. He had the opportunity to finish Leites on multiple occasions this past Saturday yet he failed to even try. While this explanation might not excuse his behavior, it at least makes some sense of all of this, which is all we can ask for at this point.