Chris Weidman lives up to the hype
Many fighters said Chris Weidman would shock the world, while analysts and journalists were saying he was a bad matchup for Anderson Silva. When I looked at the fight, it seemed like another fight for Silva, where his opposition was filled with major hype from the media and that was it. The list goes from Dan Henderson, Demian Maia, and Vitor Belfort of fighters, who were being labeled as the fighter who would end Anderson Silva’s dominance. They all failed and Chris Weidman was the next to step up against the greatest of all time.
It seemed like this fight was going to be the stepping-stone that Silva would use to fight Jon Jones. After Georges St. Pierre declined to fight Silva, it seemed like Jones would have been the perfect opponent for Silva as the super fight. This wasn’t the case and Silva was the stone that was stepped on last night.
Weidman was focused and fearless from the minute the fight began. He backed up his talk by saying how he wasn’t going to fall for his mind games and was going to be aggressive. Even when the first round was almost finished, he was willing to stand up and strike with the greatest striker of all time. It was the complete opposite of what Maia did against Silva. Who can forget how Maia was standing there for majority of the fight completely flustered against Silva, who looked completely disinterested.
The fight correlates because Silva didn’t have that killer instinct and seemed more interested in trying to make Weidman look like a chump. Even when Weidman took him down and landed some vicious punches from the top, he never seemed rattled by the ground-and-pound. It was shocking to see him still arrogant and willing to go the extent of taunting the way he did.
Everyone knows that the best trash talker in MMA during fights is Nick Diaz. He is infamous for swearing at his opponents during fights and yelling at them to fight. When Silva kept telling him to hit him in the chin, it seemed so reminiscent of Diaz when he fought Carlos Condit. Just like it came back to haunt Diaz, the same happened to Silva and he was knocked out for the first time in his UFC career. The dominant reign was ended in an instant.
Silva paid for his antics in a devastating way.
The most mind-blowing part about the fight was how Weidman won in stand-up. It wasn’t because of the wrestling that everyone kept clamoring about. The fight didn’t end up being finished by submission, which he is a specialist in. It was in the stand-up, where people including myself said he has to avoid staying in for long parts of the fight. When he continued to stand and trade with Silva, it seemed like he had played into Silva’s mind games of getting into a striking battle. I’ve always liked Weidman and felt he’ll be a top fighter for years to come, but it seemed like this was going to be a hard fought learning experience. Instead he proved that the future is now.
It was proven that he is the complete package as a fighter with his striking, wrestling, submission ability, and being able to win in big fight situations. He didn’t get rattled like Maia, didn’t get over-aggressive like Forrest Griffin, and proved that he can stand-up and strike with Silva unlike Chael Sonnen. I’ve continued to name Silva’s past opponents because the list goes on and on. In a middleweight division that is lacking in stars, he has emerged as one and it should lead to even more compelling fights in the future rather than be so one-sided.
As for Silva and his performance, it was foolish and senseless. Those are the best labels that can be given and it goes to show you how taunting can come back to haunt anyone. When the greatest fighter of all time gets caught, it’s safe to say we won’t see any taunting anytime soon from any fighter.
He never connected with his strikes and seems more concerned with getting Weidman to start swinging recklessly. After seeing so many high level fighters like St. Pierre and Daniel Cormier pick Weidman, you could only imagine it would have motivated Silva even more to shut the pundits up once again. Instead he treated it like a game and he ended up being embarrassed.
Some will say that he’s always showboated and taunted his opponents, such as the fights with Maia and Stephan Bonnar. The difference was that there was a time in the fight that he showed a killer instinct in setting up a finish to the fight. In this fight, he treated it like a sparring session rather than a championship fight. It pains me to say that considering on how incredible Silva is as a fighter, but the truth hurts sometimes.
After having such a dominant undefeated streak for seven years, it’s sad to see it end like this. Everyone would have liked to see his streak end of him going down not because of his mistakes. His mentor has always been Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, who is one of the most respected fighters of all time. He was always considered to be the greatest heavyweight ever on the ground and nobody could ever submit him. When Frank Mir locked in the Kimura, he went down like the legend that he is and refused to tap until his arm was broken. It’ll be interesting to see how Nogueira feels after watching his close friend fight like that.
With this loss, it will hurt the potential super fight with Jones and Silva. The hardcore fans will still watch it, but the people that rarely watch UFC pay-per-views are probably over it. The mystique of seeing Silva potentially lose is over and now people see him as someone potentially washed up. He’s obviously not washed up, but the fans that rarely watch it will formulate their idiotic opinion. Jones is now labeled as the new pound for pound best fighter in the world. I highly doubt that many people would actually choose Silva to beat Jones if the fight were to happen.Even before Silva lost last night, many people believed Jones would have defeated him.
The fight would still be a major event and I’m sure many people would love to see it. Those people are probably mostly hardcore MMA fans, who watch every UFC event. It would be a big deal, but the mystique is lost and now the best hope in terms of mystique would be Jones fighting at heavyweight.
Silva’s legacy will never be demented, as he’ll always be the greatest fighter of all time. His highlight-reel of knockouts is endless and he’s constantly left MMA fans across the world in awe of his knockouts. The way that the fight ended will leave a sour taste in everyone’s mouth forever though. A legend like him should lose his undefeated streak in a fighting way rather than being caught by his own over the top antics.
As for Weidman, he could fight Vitor Belfort next or Silva in a rematch, despite Silva saying he’s not interested. His opinion could change in a matter of three months; we’ve seen how anything can change in the UFC. They love to have a big title fight for Super Bowl weekend, especially with it potentially being in New Jersey. If that were to take place, I’ll make sure to be there for a potential rematch since I’m a resident in New York. With so many big title fights booked for the rest of the year, we’ll have to wait until 2014.
Weidman deserves all the praise in the world for his performance and has earned the right to be called a superstar. You can say whatever you want about not earning a title shot or not being well known, he’s entered superstar status. He lived up to his pre-fight talk and took the fight to someone, who has been considered untouchable for years now. The humble middleweight fighter from Baldwin, New York who is currently living in his mother’s basement due to the affects of Hurricane Sandy has become the middleweight champion.
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