Chris Weidman Knocks Out Anderson Silva at UFC 162
Two days after UFC 162 and I still don’t know what to make of Anderson Silva’s
loss to Chris Weidman. We’ve seen Anderson Silva clown around in the ring, taunting
his opponent throughout contests. We’ve seen him take more post-fight criticism
than punishment in fights where he seemed disinterested in finishing as he danced
to somewhat easy decisions. On the one hand it’s fitting that the style that has both
amazed and infuriated fight fans since Silva secured the title in October 2006 is also
the one that saw him lose the title as Chris Weidman’s fists finally took the smile off
his face. On the other hand it does feel somewhat cheap, as if Silva didn’t care as
much about the fight as the fans or his opponent.
It's possibly the Silva might have become over-confident. Silva’s clowning act
was never this dangerous before, and I don’t know if he knew the difference
before it was too late. When Silva had done the dance and mug act prior, it
was in fights where he was already landing shots with ease. Forrest Griffin and
Stephan Bonner come to mind. In those fights it seemed Silva could just decide
what he wanted to throw at his opponent and hit his target to devastating results.
Saturday night was different.
Silva was into the full taunting act before he’d landed even one meaningful
shot against Chris Weidman. Silva had landed some decent leg kicks and far be
it for me to discount those, but he hadn’t demoralized his opponent. Weidman
didn’t buy into the act, but he did look a little confused at times trying to
figure out what he should do to a fighter that’s dancing and dropping his hands
continually. Much like other fighters who’ve tried to maintain their composure,
Weidman continued to stand in and deliver shots. Unlike those other fights,
Silva wasn’t landing devastating counter-shots to complete the
So in the end, rather than embarrassing the next Forrest Griffin, Silva got
embarrassed. Except that you don’t get the sense that he’s capable of
As he talked to the audience in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan,
Silva was praising the new champ, but it all felt kind of sarcastic to me.
Maybe he meant it, but if a guy who didn’t put up his best effort praises the
new champ as being the best isn’t he playing the audience for fools? I guess
it’s more gracious than to discount the new champ, but these are the problems
of perception when a fight has such a strange ending. We’re not used to title
fights ending when one of the fighters gets caught because he wasn’t paying
attention to the fundamentals of fighting – namely keep your damn hands up.
But Silva was never an orthodox champ. For what was going on seven years,
Silva had defeated anyone the UFC could throw at him. Maybe this was the only
way it could have ended. Even if the last fight feels a little bit cheap,
there’s no denying how excellent the run has been. You just don’t get the sense
that the UFC’s other long-reigning champ, George St-Pierre could ever put any
doubt around his belt in victory or defeat.
So, what’s next? Despite Silva’s in-ring claim that he didn’t want a rematch
it appears that is where we’re headed. A guy who held the belt that long
certainly deserves an instant rematch, and UFC President Dana White’s thoughts
on it are instructive as to what happened in this fight where Anderson Silva was
“The next one’s going to be very interesting, White said. “I think I
would have the odds pretty much the same this one for the last one, 2-1 for
Silva. I think he’ll be 2-1 again.”
And that’s ultimately the problem I think I had with the fight Saturday night.
You want your title fights to leave no doubt about who the best fighter is, and
because of the way Anderson Silva went about his business, that wasn’t the
On Saturday, July 6, 2013, UFC 162 will hit the air live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the headlining bout, pound-for-pound king Anderson “Spider” Silva will defend his Middleweight crown against undefeated prospect Chris Weidman. Silva has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is the sport’s greatest fighter, but Weidman’s dangerous and versatile offensive skillset make him a tough matchup for anyone.
Middleweight Champion and reigning pound-for-pound king Anderson “Spider” Silva
will defend his crown against undefeated contender Chris “All-American” Weidman.
Silva has proven himself the most dominant champion in the history of Mixed
Martial Arts and has dismissed almost every challenger to his title with routine
ferocity. Weidman, though, represents an interesting stylistic challenge to
Silva because of his dominant grappling and a submission game that will allow
him to work safely from top position, unlike previous title challenger Chael
Sonnen. Does Weidman have what it takes to dethrone the champion, or will he
join the long list of victims Silva has been steadily building?
Chris Weidman, a Matt Serra student, (he's not actually Jewish like his name might imply)
without a doubt the most exciting young Middleweight prospect in the world. Weidman is a
perfect example of the new breed of Mixed Martial Artist: fast, athletic, and
technically sound in all areas of the fight game. Weidman isn’t the most
dominant striker in the world, and certainly isn’t going to win a kickboxing
match against Silva, but he has solid enough technical boxing that he isn’t
going to get immediately overwhelmed. What makes Weidman so dangerous is the
fact that he is a dominant wrestler with a very effective submission game who
can move from standing to the ground and back with relentless efficiency. There
are no huge holes in his game, and his ground game has to cause Silva some
worries. If there is one hole in Silva’s game it is his takedown defense, and
guys who can mix in takedowns with their striking game have a solid chance at
putting Silva on his back.
Anderson Silva’s accomplishments don’t really need much review.
He is, far and away, the most successful and dominant and skilled
champion in the history of Mixed Martial Arts. His effective, creative striking
game has confounded nearly every opponent he has ever faced and his submissions
are hugely underrated. Silva is a nightmare in the striking game and, even when
he is put in a disadvantageous position, has more than enough jiu-jitsu to turn
the tide of a fight, a fact which Chael Sonnen learned to his dismay in their
first meeting. Silva is just as capable of pulling out a come-from-behind win
off his back as he is of dominating a fight from the opening bell. Against
Weidman, the only thing he needs to worry about is the wrestling. If he can make
Weidman pay for his takedown attempts, there is no way Weidman can survive long
in an extended standup exchange.
There is no question that Chris Weidman is destined to be
the future of the Middleweight division, but Anderson Silva is still the
present. I expect Weidman will put on a good show and test Silva’s weaknesses in
the early rounds, but Silva is very wily off his back and hard to finish. The
biggest thing working against Weidman here is that every round starts standing.
Even if he can get Silva down early, if he can’t finish the fight Silva is going
to get another crack at his jaw the next round. I find it unlikely that Weidman
will finish Silva on the ground in the early rounds, and as sweat builds up and
takedowns and ground control become more difficult, I think the advantage will
switch firmly to the champion. Weidman will make it a contest, but eventually
Silva will show why he is the champion to begin with. Silva by T/KO.
PW Prediction: Anderson “The Spider” Silva by third round TKO.